All by Myself!

All by Myself!

by Geraldine Collet, Coralie Saudo
     
 

When five hens leave the coop to go pecking for grain, five little chicks are left all by themselves for the day. At first the chicks — Ivan, Lily, Leonard, Shirley, and narrator Anthony — cry. Then, they get scared: what if their moms never come home? What if a fox finds them? The chicks must work together to brave the day without their

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Overview

When five hens leave the coop to go pecking for grain, five little chicks are left all by themselves for the day. At first the chicks — Ivan, Lily, Leonard, Shirley, and narrator Anthony — cry. Then, they get scared: what if their moms never come home? What if a fox finds them? The chicks must work together to brave the day without their mothers.

When the hens return to the coop with delicious grain at lunchtime, all but one of the chicks — Anthony — fall upon the food ravenously. Bolstered by his triumphant day at home alone, Anthony pauses to declare that he is ready to eat all by himself for the first time.

A beloved book in its original French, All By Myself! is a plucky tale about cooperation and independence. Told in part through mixed media illustrations and energetic text, this picture book will inspire and entertain young readers as they approach their own hallmarks of growing up.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this anything but homespun story about farmyard chicks—the typography and design have an unexpectedly crisp feel—Anthony’s mother has left him “all by myself” in the chicken coop. All alone except for his fellow chicks Ivan, Lily, Leonard, and Shirley, that is. The chicks worry about all the things that might prevent their mother hens from returning; worrywart Shirley howls with fear about the fox that the chicks imagine might come to get them. “I can’t take it anymore!” she shrieks. “He’s going to eat us alive!” “Stop it, Shirley!” the others tell her, exasperated with her histrionics. But despite the chicks’ worst fears, the hens return promptly with grain, which Anthony insists on eating “all by myself!” The presence of the other chicks means that Anthony is never completely on his own, and the suspense stays strictly manageable. Added visual novelty comes from the chicks themselves, which Saudo has fashioned from smooth pebbles painted yellow, then photographed and embellished with delicate digital features. Collet’s well-developed characters and lively dialogue provide a read-aloud pick-me-up. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"Illustrations are full of quirky, mischievous touches sure to bring smiles...This superlatively cute look at the bond between mother and child takes a proud place next to Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson’s Owl Babies."
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"When Mama left the chicken coop to go pecking for grain, she left me all by myself."
— from the book

Children's Literature - Krisan Murphy
Anthony, an adorable chicklet, narrates his plight when he is left alone by his mama. The irony of the story is that he is not actually alone at all, which might confuse small children. Anthony is left in the chicken coop with his four friends—Ivan, Lily, Leonard, and Shirley—whose mamas also went pecking for grain. As long as the parent or teacher does not read too much into this story—like abandonment—the young reader or listening child will be delighted with Anthony's story. It includes realistic reactions, like fear, unbridled imagination, and coping strategies. The reader is drawn into the dilemma when Shirley loses control and creates the horrifying possibility in her mind that they all might be visited by a fox that would eat them alive. Each little chick's personality and means of coping is revealed in this stressful situation. When the hens finally come home with grain and healthy doses of motherly input about how to eat it, Anthony decides he wants to be left alone to eat all by himself. The unique mixed-media presentation is lively and attractive for all ages. Reviewer: Krisan Murphy
Kirkus Reviews
When Mama's brood is left alone, chick imaginations run wild. The wee narrator (identified with a little white arrow and the modest word "Me") begins to cry when Mama leaves the coop to go pecking for grain. And so do siblings Ivan and Lily and Leonard and Shirley, all in a row. The worry soon escalates to a frantic speculation that she may never come back! (The page turns black, with only wings and eyes visible.) And what will they do if a fox comes?! (One chick becomes a caped crusader while the others hold up signs intended to scare the predator away.) A sudden noise sends them all into a frenzy! But it's just Mama, back with dinner. She has special eating instructions for each of her babies, and readers learn that the narrator is called Anthony. He's also apparently the youngest, because he wants to be just like his brothers and sisters, and eat very quickly, all by himself. Saudo's stylish chicks look like golden M&Ms; their feet and wings are see-through and outlined in white. Her illustrations are full of quirky, mischievous touches sure to bring smiles. This superlatively cute look at the bond between mother and child takes a proud place next to Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson's Owl Babies (1992). (Picture book. 3-5)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781926973128
Publisher:
Owlkids Books
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,120,266
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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