A Chick Called Saturday

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A chick finds his true calling in this sunny-hued picture book about self-discovery and acceptance. Saturday is the most inquisitive chick in his family. He marvels at all the other creatures in the barnyard, wondering why he can't be like them instead of his plain old self. Despite his mother's frequent command to simply "Get in line!", Saturday eagerly tries to fly like a blackbird, swim like a duck and honk like a gosling-with very disheartening results. But when Saturday sees a gloriously plumed rooster and hears its rousing cock-a-doodle-doo, the chick can't wait to emulate him, and he finds that crowing is a perfect fit. Dunbar's (Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep) breezy pace and repetitive refrains will keep young readers happily down on the farm, though Mother Hen's admonitions to conform seem overdone. Granstrum's (Baby Knows Best) airy pencil-lined watercolors depict farm life at its bucolic best. Her various animals have realistic features but are just anthropomorphic enough in expression to make them endearing characters. And Saturday's red nub of a cock's comb charmingly foreshadows his call to barnyard greatness. All ages. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When Mother Hen takes her seven chicks for their first walk around the farmyard, six stay in line as they are told to. All are named after the days of the week, and it is Saturday who just can't seem to obey. As the other chicks encounter the creatures on the farm, they shy away, but Saturday wants to know what they do, and is disappointed when his mother tells him that he can't swim like the ducks, or show off like the geese, but can only scratch, cluck and peck. He feels there must be more to life, and keeps searching for it through the week. On Saturday, he triumphantly discovers the answer to his quest, for a satisfying, humorous conclusion. Granström's rough lines create scenes and characters alive with the feel of farm life. Her transparent watercolors add a naturalistic minimal context that leaves most of the pages' whiteness for the large letters of the text. The animals are presented in sympathetic portraits, while the hen and feisty chick are depicted with a range of emotions that keep us involved. The visual climax explodes on a double page with the brilliantly colored rooster and his "cock-a-doodle-doo." 2003, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Saturday, the seventh chick to hatch, is curious about everything. He wants to know about the pond, the geese, and the blackbird flying by. But each time he asks, "When can I do that?" his mother replies, "Never." "Not ever! Now, keep in line." Finally, the frustrated bird asks, "Well, what can I do?" to which his mother enumerates fairly boring options like clucking and scratching; "You can stop asking questions" is her last comment. But the indefatigable chick explores on his own and learns that he is not cut out to swim, honk, or fly off the back of a cow. Finally, Saturday sees "the most amazing creature of all," a rooster crowing; lets out a "cock-a-doodle-doo"; and finds his own voice. His mother is proud of him, at last. Granstr m's watercolors are awash with greens, yellows, and browns, and the lovely endpapers show farm vistas. Children may be confused, however, by the multihued chicks from differently colored eggs. Also, it is disturbing that the effervescent young bird's questions and ideas are constantly squelched by his overbearing mother. That he defiantly goes off on his own to explore is both a good and bad message for youngsters testing their boundaries. Finally, the fact that the rooster is never called a rooster seems unfortunate since it is Saturday's destiny to become one.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
There's one in every clutch-a nonconformist who's simply not content to toe the line. Saturday, the seventh of orderly Mother Hen's otherwise tractable chicks, wants to know when he will swim and bob like the ducks, hiss and honk like the bug-eyed geese, or sing and fly as the blackbird does. Unsatisfactory explanations leave Saturday to learn the hard way that all the wanting in the world won't turn a chick into a gosling. Although it will hardly pass muster as science-hens do not lay multicolored eggs (perhaps Mother Hen is a brooder?), and cockerels are not born with combs-this gentle life lesson of pursuing one's potential without wishing for what cannot be is well-organized, offering readers the chance to predict Saturday's dilemmas and to chime in on several of Mother Hen's refrains. Loose watercolor-and-pencil pictures and a touch of appropriately "scratchy" calligraphy put readers in the right farm-uh, frame-of mind to sympathize with Saturday and to applaud when he finally cock-a-doodle-doos. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802852601
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.10 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 12, 2009

    Excellent book for SELF

    my four year old loved it to. I LOVE this book and it's message and the pictures. Great self esteem message. Keep trying, fallow your heart, be yourself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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