'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Review: Little Chicken Chickabee

Four little eggs hatch and three little chicks say 'Cheep! Cheep! Cheep!'. The fourth little chick however, says 'Chickabee!' and sets off to explore the world.

No matter where she goes or who she meets, Little Chicken discovers that the world expects her to say 'Cheep!' because it's not right, it's too confusing, and she sounds as if she does not
want to be a chicken if she says 'Chickabee!'.

Though Little Chicken is saddened by such a response to her happy declaration of 'Chickabee!', she remains nonetheless undeterred from being herself and doing what feels right for her, and she continues her joyful exploration of the world, delighting in the variations of sounds that she discovers along the way. Eventually, Little Chicken comes across a pig in his pen who says 'Oinketty-oo!', and it is in this moment that she finds a kindred spirit.

I loved the subtle strength that Little Chicken shows right throughout the story, she does not learn a valuable lesson, she does not need to be rescued, she does not compromise herself. She is firm in her belief that she says 'Chickabee' and this belief allows her to look for the reasons why the rest of the world thinks that she should change.

The illustrations add such warmth and joy to the character of Little Chicken, with many adorable close ups of Little Chicken and her siblings, while the warm colour palette and beautiful line details both work to soften the underlying themes of being different to others or feeling left out, in a manner that creates a comfortable space to talk these feeling through with younger children.

Title: Little Chicken Chickabee
Author: Janeen Brian
Illustrator: Danny Snell
Publisher: The Little Big Book Club, $14.90
Publication Date: 2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780994385338
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Book

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