Pip. Rip! Peek. PEEP! Mama has seven fuzzy new chicks. The barnyard is big. Things sparkle, thigs flap, and things wiggle, and the chicks want to know about all of them. Zzzzip! They scoot higgledy-piggledy here and there. Mama ...
Pip. Rip! Peek. PEEP!
Mama has seven fuzzy new chicks. The barnyard is big. Things sparkle, thigs flap, and things wiggle, and the chicks want to know about all of them. Zzzzip!
They scoot higgledy-piggledy here and there.
Mama clucks, "Watch out for danger!" But they are too curious, and they get into trouble.
Luckily, there's always a place under Mama's wing for they fuzzy chicks to zip back to.
Banty Hen feels broody and lays seven beautiful eggs for the Aunties to bucka-buk over. She keeps them safe and warm, and "[s]oon tiny beaks pip the shells. / Pip. / Rip! / Peek. / PEEP!" Seven fluffy, curious, energetic chicks race around the barnyard. They don't know what's dangerous and what isn't, so Banty Hen has to keep them safe. Is a cat dangerous? A snake? A raccoon? Good thing Banty Hen has the help of the Aunties, Rooster and Duck. With its onomatopoeic kaks, kuks and bucka-buks, Joosse's latest straddles the line between cartoon and natural-history narrative. There are several opportunities for short counting lessons of eggs or blue-eyed chicks as they race across the pages. Chrustowski's full-bleed collage illustrations, a departure from his usual highly saturated colored-pencil artwork, are the real standout here. The author's "How Little Chicks Grow" note at the back leaves out Rooster's part in the process but is otherwise complete; the illustrator's note discusses both his models and his methods. For larger collections or where the author's books are a draw. (Picture book. 2-5)
School Library Journal
PreS—Night in the barnyard gives way to the crowing rooster. Then: "Banty hen feels…broody." She lays her eggs, waits, they hatch, run around getting into trouble, and finally night falls, leaving them safe with their mother. The story is minimal, but the pleasing sound effects and adventurous chicks testing their independence will engage young listeners. The time structure is uneven, beginning with morning and finishing at night, while leaving the time in between elastic: sometimes there are moments between pages, other times days or weeks, which may confuse the intended audience. A lovely endnote explains the factual information behind the text. Joosse is trying to impart it in an entertaining, narrative fashion, but she is only partially successful. The illustrations, on the other hand, are inspired. Using collage and colored pencil, Chrustowski imbues the images with color, life, personality, and movement. The chicks, who vary in color from black to brown to yellow, with some bicolored, look ready to jump off the page. The artist's torn-paper technique gives them a fuzzy look, and the collage provides depth and texture. The barnyard teems with life, including everything from grasshoppers to snakes to raccoons. Using close-up images, Chrustowski provides predictable elements, increasing children's engagement. An additional purchase.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Barbara Joosse is the author of many acclaimed books for children, including Mama, Do You Love Me?, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee, Roawr!, illustrated by Jan Jutte, and Higgledy-Piggledy Chicks, illustrated by Rick Chrustowski. She lives with her family in a cozy old stone house in Wisconsin.
Rick Chrustowski is the creator of several picture books, including Big Brown Bat. His artwork is inspired by the nature that surrounds the old farmhouse in Wisconsin where he lives and works.