by Eva Moore, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Orchard Books, 2013
“The Duck family lived in a pretty pond in a green, green park, in a sunlit little town at the end of a long, long island.” When Mama duck takes her ducklings on a walk through town, the ducklings fall through a grate and into a storm drain. With help from the townspeople and firemen, the ducklings are rescued and sent on to swim with Mama Duck again. Simple, true story speaks for itself, but is helped by a conversational tone and lovely, soft illustrations. It's a Make Way for Ducklings for a new generation.
Busy-Busy Little Chick
by Janice Harrington, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2013
“Mama Nsoso’s chicks shivered in their cold, damp nest. Peo-peo, Mama. Peo-peo. We’re chilly-cold. Our tummies are chilly-cold. Our feet are chilly-cold. We’re chilly-cold all over.” The mother hen makes plans to build a new house for the family, but each day gets distracted by something new. Each day one little chick does the work that needs to be done. So at the end of the week, they all have a new house thanks to the work of one busy-busy chick. It is based on a fable told by the Nkundo people of Central Africa and uses words and storytelling traditions of the people. The illustrations are bold and abstract, with swirls and strokes of bright colors shaped with black lines. Personally I don’t get the moral of the story here. “Don’t worry about it because some schmuck will get it done?” But it would make a good contrast story to Little Red Hen.
by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Kathryn Brown
The dedication reads: “To my grandmother Elenora, whose chicks gave her great comfort on the North Dakota prairie.” When Nora and her family move from their home in Russia to the American prairie, Nora is lonely. She thinks of her homeland, but mostly she misses friends. After a few tries, she finds company in her own flock of chicks and geese. They follow her everywhere and even help her make a new human friend. Based on a true story, it reads simply without drama. Soft watercolor in muted tones of browns and yellows show the prairie, while Nora tends to stand out more in her reds and purples. Even the sky is muted, until the last happy picture with a soft blue sky. Charming story.
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