Chico the Brave

Chico the Brave

by Dave Horowitz
     
 

A shy chick finds the courage to soar

Chico is afraid of everything, even his own shadow. His dad tries to bolster his confidence by telling him about the legendary Golden Chicken, but Chico doesn't believe anyone could be that brave. So he sets off into the mountains to find the Golden Chicken, certain that the heroic bird will give him advice. Instead, his

Overview

A shy chick finds the courage to soar

Chico is afraid of everything, even his own shadow. His dad tries to bolster his confidence by telling him about the legendary Golden Chicken, but Chico doesn't believe anyone could be that brave. So he sets off into the mountains to find the Golden Chicken, certain that the heroic bird will give him advice. Instead, his quest leads him to something he definitely wasn't seeking—an adventure! Before he knows it, he's soaring through the sky to the very place where a courageous hero is most needed—his own hometown, where the dreaded Llama Llama Gang is turning things upside down.

Readers will get a hoot out of this little hero who saves the day!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With his characteristically broad humor and adult-savvy jokes, Horowitz (The Pretty, Pretty Bunny) offers a folksy tale about a yellow chick named Chico who learns to tame his fears. Chico, who lives “in the mountains of Peru,” is afraid of everything, including his own shadow (“Help! I’m being followed...”). But when his father tells him the (made-up) story of the Golden Chicken, Chico decides to ask the mythical chicken what makes him so brave. The villains of the piece are “the dreaded Llama Llama Gang from Cashapampa,” who tell Chico to seek the Golden Chicken on a tall, scary mountain, where Chico is caught by a wind and manages to fly despite his scrawny wings—and save his town from the llama gang. Horowitz renders the droll comedy in bright acrylic scenes lined with loose black pencil; his chickens have orange cones for beaks, and the none-too-scary llama gang dresses in Peruvian garb and drinks “Llamonade.” The theme is underscored by the epigraph from John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” Ages 5�8. Agent: Wernick and Pratt Agency. (May)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Blithely absurd story and illustrations. . . . Chico is a sympathetic little guy . . . underdogs will cheer at his triumph. . . . Amusing details in the vibrant acrylic and black pencil illustrations . . . further ratchet up the silliness. . . . Kids will chuckle at this chick's accidentally discovered audacity."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Blithely absurd story and illustrations. . . . Chico is a sympathetic little guy . . . underdogs will cheer at his triumph. . . . Amusing details in the vibrant acrylic and black pencil illustrations . . . further ratchet up the silliness. . . . Kids will chuckle at this chick's accidentally discovered audacity."
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Chico, a yellow chick in Peru, fears everything, including his own shadow. To boost his courage, his father tells him the story of the Golden Chicken, a superbird who takes care of all troubles. Chico heads to the tallest mountain where the legend allegedly lives, determined to learn what makes him so brave. Along the way, he meets three unruly llamas, who gladly direct him while covertly mocking his outrageous tale. Chico reaches the peak to find nothing but a mighty wind that blasts him across the sky. He's spotted by the town-terrorizing llamas, who assume that he's the Golden Chicken and flee forever. The chickens laud their hero with the titular name. Horowitz's story is full of visual puns; Chico's parents have a framed photo of an egg on their end table. The large acrylic and black pencil on vellum artwork are effective for group sharing. The bright colors complement the cartoon characters, from Chico's conical beak and spindly legs to the llamas' woolly coats. The little bird's terrifying climb is reflected in a spread showing the snow-covered Andes. Endpapers of Peruvian weavings also lend the opportunity for cultural conversation.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Chico is a chicken--in both senses--until adventure earns him the title "The Brave." Hatched in the Andes, Chico is literally terrified of his own shadow: "HELP! I'm being followed," he cheeps as he scurries away. Attempting to comfort his son, Chico's father invents a story about The Golden Chicken, saying, "Whenever there's trouble, he, um, swoops down from those there mountains like lightning and saves the day." Emboldened, Chico sets off to find his new hero, a bindle clutched under his wing. As he ventures forth, he passes a rooster hanging up "Wanted" posters of some nefarious-looking llamas, foreshadowing his eventual encounter with a herd of those same tough camelids--llamas who tease him when he asks about his hero. They send him on what might be termed a wild Golden Chicken chase to the top of a very tall, very scary mountain. Chico perseveres, only to end up being blown down from the mountaintop by a gust of wind. The llamas, now up to no good and persecuting Chico's flock, see him descending and wonder if there really is a Golden Chicken superhero after all. They take off, and Chico emerges as the hero of his village. A humorous, original tale about one plucky clucker, distinguished by vibrantly colored, cartoonish illustrations that match the text's hilarity on every page. (Picture book. 4-8)
The New York Times
Dave Horowitz…specializes in comical stories that operate on two levels, leaving parents tittering along with their children's giggles.
—Pamela Paul

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399256363
Publisher:
Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication date:
05/10/2012
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Dave Horowitz also wrote and illustrated Sydney Taylor Notable Book Five Little Gefiltes, Junior Library Guild Selections Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again and Buy My Hats, as well as many other children's favorites. He lives in Cottekill, New York.

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