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Loony Little

Loony Little

5.0 2
by Kelly Murphy
A wry, simple story with luminous illustrations offers a delightful twist on the traditional Chicken Little fable - and an important message about our environment.

Great top of the world! The polar icecap is melting!

When a drop of water falls - plop! - on Loony Little’s head, she and her friends decide they must bring this unfortunate news to the


A wry, simple story with luminous illustrations offers a delightful twist on the traditional Chicken Little fable - and an important message about our environment.

Great top of the world! The polar icecap is melting!

When a drop of water falls - plop! - on Loony Little’s head, she and her friends decide they must bring this unfortunate news to the fearsome Polar Bear Queen. Perhaps she can explain how this strange turn of events will affect them. But when sly Foxy Loxy volunteers to escort all the animals to the queen’s lair, Loony starts to suspect that the fate of the Arctic and its marvelous creatures is not what the fox - or the queen - really cares about. Now who can they find who does care?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Transplanting Chicken Little to the Arctic Circle, Aston overlays the traditional tale with an environmental theme-with mixed results. "The sky is falling" becomes "the polar icecap is melting," a conclusion the titular loon draws when a drop of water falls on her head. On her way to alert the Polar Bear Queen, she picks up a band of animal friends, each of whom spells out for readers the dire implications: " `Suffering puffalumps!' screeched Puffin Muffin. `If the icecap is melting, will the sea rise?' " In the end, the Polar Bear Queen saves the animals from one enemy, but shows no interest in the whole global warming issue. Loony and her friends leave determined "to find someone who will care." Loony Little asks, "Like who?" and fixes her gaze on readers; there the story ends. Murphy (The Boll Weevil Ball) paints a lovely wilderness in soft-edged mixed media. Turquoise water, lush gray-green forests and peach-toned sunsets reflected on the snow suggest a pristine land worth preserving. The story's conspicuous agenda creates an unsatisfying, uncertain ending, and the warning about a real-world threat sits uneasily within a classic cautionary tale against doomsaying. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Loony Little was floating peacefully in the summer Arctic sun when a water drop fell on her head. "Great top of the world!" She wailed. "The polar icecap is melting! I must go tell the Polar Bear Queen!"' On her way Looney meets Dovekie Lovekie, Puffin Muffin, and Harey Clarey. In a panic, they all head for the Polar Bear Queen but are stopped by Foxy Loxy who tries to trick them. In quick thinking, Looney fools Foxy, who in a "blur of fur" races to tell the Queen the problem. In the style of the Chicken Little fable comes a story that is intended to make children think about conditions in the Arctic. The book ends with a question about just who will care about the melting icecap. The author has included notes about the Arctic and animals found there. Crisp animal drawings are set upon soft snowy scenes that glow with radiant colors. The book is sure to provoke a sense of wonder and some interesting discussion. 2003, Candlewick Press, Ages 5 to 8.
—Laura Hummel
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A takeoff on "Chicken Little" that doesn't fly. Loony Little feels a drop of water on her head and concludes that the polar ice cap is melting. On the way to deliver her message to the Polar Bear Queen, she meets Dovekie Lovekie, Puffin Muffin, Harey Clarey, and Sealy Sally, who accompany her. When Foxy Loxy offers to escort them, Loony Little falls behind because she "couldn't waddle or hop as well as the others" (it seems she forgets she can fly). Realizing where the fox is taking them, she throws a piece of ice that hits him on the head, convincing him that indeed the ice cap is melting. He runs to tell Polar Bear, who promptly eats him. As the tale concludes with the animals, sans fox, searching for someone who will care about the fate of the Arctic, a drop of water heads downward toward the loon again. Attractive spreads are done in a mix of acrylic, watercolor, and gel. A note about the Arctic and a short introduction to each of the animals mentioned are included. Though the book appears to be directed toward young children, the threat of global warming and its impact will be of little concern to them. The open ending may appeal to older children, but only with discussion. For a revised "Chicken Little," try Jane Wattenberg's entertaining Henny-Penny (Scholastic, 2000).-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Aston adds a pointed environmental message to this inventive variation on the story of Chicken Little. Feeling a drop of water on her head, Loony Little frantically waddles off to tell the Polar Bear Queen that the polar ice cap is melting. Along the way she enlists Dovekie Lovekie, Puffin Muffin, Harey Clarey, and even Foxy Loxy, but then discovers the truth of Sealy Sally's warning about what polar bears are like when the Queen offhandedly gobbles up Foxy Loxy. The small survivors scuttle southward, in search of someone who might actually care about the ice caps--"Like who?" Loony Little asks, gazing up from the page. Murphy depicts a company of worried-looking creatures crossing wide, icy northern flats beneath greenish skies. Closing with notes about Arctic animals appearing in the tale, and the effects of seemingly small climatic changes, this artfully weaves an issue of contemporary concern into a favorite traditional tale--and makes the frantic messengers rather more than the usual brainless dupes. (Picture book. 6-10)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.51(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Dianna Hutts Aston was born in Houston, Texas, attended the University of Houston, and worked as a journalist for several years. LOONY LITTLE is her first picture book with Candlewick Press. She says, "It was one of the hottest summer days on record. My mind, of its own accord, kept wandering northward, to a wilderness of snow and ice, the Arctic. While listening to the news one evening, I heard Peter Jennings say, ‘The polar icecap is melting - or is it?’ In my mind, I heard, ‘The sky is falling!’ The whole concept for LOONY LITTLE literally fell from the sky and into my mind." Dianna Hutts Aston lives in central Texas with her husband and two children.

Kelly Murphy resides in southeastern Massachusetts, where snow is a familiar friend. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, she is the author-illustrator of THE BOLL WEEVIL BALL. This is her first book with Candlewick Press.

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Loony Little 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A funny, entertaining, and educational spin on the original Chicken Little story. Each page is filled with delightful characters and there is a surprising twist at the end. Kids will love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Looney Little is a great adaptation of the popular folktale Chicken Little. Instead of, 'the sky is falling', Looney Little says, 'the polar ice caps are melting!'. It has such a great storyline - with a serious underlying theme of global warming. What a great way to entertain children, as well as foster concern for the environment.