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This Little Chicken’s a Scaredy Cat – A Little Chicken by Tammi Sauer

A LITTLE CHICKEN
Written by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Dan Taylor
(Sterling Children’s Books; $16.95, Ages 4 and up)

 

 

cover illustration by Dan Taylor from A Little Chicken by Tammi Sauer

 

 

If your child enjoys sweet, pun-filled, read-aloud stories with an enjoyable mix of humorous artwork, a relatable subject and “the occasional lawn ornament,” pick up a copy of A Little Chicken to meet adorable Dot.

While not all poultry are petrified of every little thing, Dot sure is. From Taylor’s very first illustration in this picture book, readers will see from her school photo that Dot, the chicken, is being frightened by a spider. (NOTE: don’t miss the end papers.) She was indeed a scaredy cat chicken. Wolves, bears and even a lovely, fluttery butterfly terrified her.

 

int illustrations by Dan Taylor from A Little Chicken written by Tammi Sauer

Interior artwork from A Little Chicken written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Taylor, Sterling Children’s Books ©2019.

 

Things went from scary to hairy pretty darn quickly when one day Dot knocked an egg out of the coop. Of course this was unintentional, but regardless, she couldn’t let her “soon-to-be sibling” roll away. Dot dashed for the egg but it remained just out of reach with funny obstacles around every corner. As the egg’s momentum carried it off towards the deep dark woods, Dot had to decide if she had it in her to brave the unknown. Was she more than fluff? ABSOLUTELY! She may have been a little chicken but she also knew what mattered in life.

This highly readable, entertaining picture book is perfect for parents prone to making sound effects. It cleverly lets youngsters know it’s okay to have fears but facing them may sometimes yield amazing results, in this case a precious baby sister.

Author Tammi Sauer’s chosen to focus on fear in a way that honors this feeling and provides an easy in for a discussion about this topic with children. The story flows smoothly and little ones will be rooting for Dot along with her farmyard fan club. Sauer’s wonderful way with words is evident in A Little Chicken and she uses all the right ones though quite economically because Dan Taylor’s hilarious illustrations say so much. All the animal characters that inhabit Dot’s world are not scary nor are the lawn ornaments. In fact, I rather hope they’ll make an appearance in another story. Definitely take a crack at this recommended read!

  • Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

Click here to read a review of Tammi Sauer and Dan Taylor’s But The Bear Came Back.

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Brave and Mighty Little Chick

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tlc tour hostChick-o-Saurus-RexGood Reads With Ronna is excited to be part of the Chick-O-Saurus Rex  (Simon & Schuster, $16.99, ages 4-8) blog tour. This new picture book is a collaboration by husband and wife team Lenore and Daniel Jennewein.

If you saw a tree house you’d want to go in, wouldn’t you? Well so did Little Chick. The only problem was the bullies, Little Donkey, Little Pig and Little Sheep, keeping him out. They announced, “This is a club for the brave and mighty. First you have to prove you belong.” Not exactly a warm and welcoming requirement to place on poultry.

Chick-O-Saurus RexBut Little Chick was up for the challenge despite the mean behavior of the taunting trio. While other chickens might have been discouraged, Little Chick persevered. He wondered if somewhere in his family tree there might be proof of a brave and mighty chicken and posed this question to Father Rooster. Together they perused a family album for hints of bravery and might in their lineage.

When a photo shows Grandpa Rooster unearthing an ancestor’s fossil (yes, fossil), Little Chick is eager to pursue this clue. Could our Little Chick be a descendant of dinos? Several weeks pass before a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton is dug up proving Little Chick’s mighty heritage. He takes off for the tree house to share his discovery, but finds the bullies being preyed upon by a hungry wolf. With a scary battle-cry of “Cock-A-Doodle-Dooo!,” and a frightening fossil clutched in his fist, Little Chick chases the wolf away, is proclaimed a hero and permanently changes the bullies’ opinion of one so small.

Lenore and Daniel Jennewein

Lenore and Daniel Jennewein

This winning book is infused with subtle humor (perhaps adults will have to explain the chicken-dance craze reference to youngsters, but the picture of Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandpa crossing the road should be easier to catch) and adorable illustrations that make it mighty good human entertainment.

– Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

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Born To Run Wild!

cvr9781442406735_9781442406735CHICKS RUN WILD ($15.99, Simon & Schuster, ages 2-6), written by Sudipta Bardan-Quallen and illustrated by Ward Jenkins, really tickled guest reviewer Lindy Michael’s fancy! Find the enthusiastic Lindy at BookStar on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City and she’ll take you right to where a copy of this terrific new children’s book can be found.

I think we all know how hard it is to get a wee one to go to bed, especially if they don’t want to, which as a parent and grandparent, I know is almost all of the time. After yet another story, another drink of water, another song, how many times have we kissed our child’s forehead, hoping, beyond hope, for not another peep out of them?

Well! What if you’re a mama hen with five little chickies, none of whom want to lay their little feathered heads on their pillows? After mama tucks them in their feathered beds and kisses them for the umpteenth time, then tip-toes out of the room for some much needed rest, yes, those CHICKS GO WILD!

“First they wiggle and they jump
Then they giggle and they thump,
Playing, swaying in pajamas,
when they hear their tired mama…”

Now, of course, like all smart little ones, they fake “catching zees” when mama peeks in the room and is finally satisfied her babies are indeed, asleep. But then, wait for it… CHICKS GO WILD, yet again… and again… and again.

But don’t mess with mama. She has a plan to finally get her babies off to dreamland. And she’s one smart, albeit, weary and worn out mama hen.

After reading this delightful story, I give all of you frustrated and tired and at the end of your rope mamas (and papas, too), permission to definitely try this at home. Then you can drag your exhausted selves onto your living room couch and run wild, also, just like mama hen does!

lindymichaelspic2The very versatile (and energetic) Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Studio City Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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InterruptiCHICKEN

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INTERRUPTING CHICKEN, (2011 Caldecott Medal Honor Book) written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein, is reviewed today by reading enthusiast Lindy Michaels of BookStar on Ventura Blvd. Studio City.

Who hasn’t tried to read a book to their child, when interrupted by said child with their own version of what might come next? That is exactly what happens in INTERRUPTING CHICKEN when papa chicken tries to read a bedtime story to his, wide awake, little red chicken. Warned not to interrupt, little red chicken promises, “Oh no, Papa. I’ll be good.”

And so papa begins reading the fairytale, Hansel And Gretel. “Hansel and Gretel were very hungry. Deep in the woods they found a house made of candy. Nibble, nibble, nibble: they began to eat the house, until the old woman who lived there came out and said, “What lovely children! Why don’t you come inside?” They were just about to follow her when…”

Well, at this point of the story, little red chicken could not contain herself and screamed, “Out jumped little red chicken and she said, ‘Don’t go in! She’s a witch!’ So Hansel and Gretel didn’t. The End!”

The next story papa chicken tried to read was Little Red Riding Hood. Just when Little Red meets up with the big bad wolf, little red chicken interrupted, again, yelling, “Out jumped little red chicken and she said, ‘Don’t talk to strangers!’ So Little Red Riding Hood didn’t. The End!”

And so it went, story after story until papa chicken was getting very, very tired. It was then that little red chicken told her papa a story of her own, which put him right to sleep, with absolutely, no interruptions!

I love the fact that little red chicken not only inserted herself into all the stories, but made herself the heroine. Children will love this funny and creative tale, although it might make bedtime just a tad later than originally planned, for both of you!

lindymichaelspicThe very versatile Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Studio City Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling (with no interruptions!) every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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