“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Friday, April 3, 2009

Little Chick • Picture book

Little Chick
by Amy Hest and illustrated by Anita Jeram • March 2009 • Candlewick Press • Picture BookAges 2 and up
What if you are a good and patient gardener but simply can’t wait for your carrot to grow tall? What if you skip like a pro but still can’t lift your kite in the air? Or if you’re a really good stretcher but can’t reach your favorite star?
Story: The creators of the New York Times bestselling Kiss Good Night share gentle tales about a special intergenerational bond. With affection and humor, Amy Hest offers three vignettes about a curious chick and a loving auntie who knows how to soften disappointments by keeping the spark of wonder alive. And the incomparable Anita Jeram renders Little Chick’s gestures and movements with a mastery that captures the spirit of every young child.
Story behind the story: Long ago, when Amy Hest was just a little chick herself, she had a teeny little carrot garden behind her house. She waited and waited, but nothing grew. Then one day, lo and behold, a CARROT!! And a very large carrot at that! She was so proud of herself!

Years later, she discovered that her mom, feeling so sad for her, took a carrot from the refrigerator and put it in the garden.

“To this day, I am NO gardener,” says Amy. “Hence, I live in New York City, where thankfully gardening is not required.”

★“Infused with tenderness… Light humor and visual charm.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent and reviews are in the works; please check back and click on the "comments" link below to read what your colleagues have to say.


Z-Kids said...

This looks adorable!

Lindsay said...

I cannot wait to get this book...with a one year old at home this will be a treat!

Mrs. Horne said...

This book is precious! The cover, with the little chick marching across really makes you want to open it and see what this little chick gets itself into!

I love how there are three stories in one here, which is a great bedtime attraction for parents! Each story is short, and really captures the spirit of the little chick.

In each story, Little Chick and his Old-Auntie are the only characters (unless you include the star, carrot, and kite.) These inanimate objects do take on a life of their own through the main character. This book teaches that you don't always get your way but sometimes that is what's best - a lesson important for all young people.

I LOVED the story about the kite - what a cute idea to have the kite be a leaf!

I would highly recommend this book to elementary classrooms, daycares, etc.

Picnic Basket Rating: 5/5

Lindsay Horne
New Kent Middle School
New Kent, VA

Louise Stearns, Southern IL Univ. said...

Amy Hest has created a delightful picture storybook, which will appeal to adults as well as children. The simple stories tell of a little chick as she waits for things she wants, such as a carrot, a kite and a star. The stories not only teach the value of patience, but also demonstrate the wisdom of the older and wiser "Auntie Hen". These stories will certainly appeal to young children, but will also speak to adults. There are life lessons to be learned as the reader watches the Little Chick learn that good things come to those who wait, and that sometimes what we want is not always what is best for us. A charming story with many layers of meaning, this book will be a welcome addition to any library. I recommend this without reservation #4.
Louise Stearns
Southern Illinois University

Allyson Maiolo said...

Beautiful illustrations - cute stories, but they could be a little longer. I love that a large format picture book contains multiple stories though - don't see that very often. The simple themes in the stories remind me of "Frog and Toad"-type stories.

Planning to read it to my 2nd graders soon and will have them write some further reviews for posting on our class website!

I give it a 4!

Julie P. said...

LITTLE CHICK by Amy Hest, with pictures by Anita Jeram is such a charming little book for toddlers and preschoolers. When my four year old son saw this book, we had to read it right away. He was immediately drawn to the cute picture of the "little chick" on the cover.

I was surprised to see that this picture book was actually made up of three separate little stories -- The Carrot That Would Not Grow, The Kite That Would Not Fly, and The Starry Night. Each story was just a few pages, and my son had no problem paying attention to all three stories at one sitting. He loved all three stories, but his favorite was the one about the carrot -- I think that's because his daddy has a garden. I liked that even if you have an active toddler who doesn't normally sit well for books (like my daughter was), you can still read one of the chapters quickly and complete the story.

This book was very appealing to me and my son. The pictures were just precious and there were weren't many words per page. There illustrations were simple, and yet there still was a lot to see on each page. I especially loved Little Chick and all of his expressions. And my little guy couldn't stop giggling when he saw the pictures of the "leaf kite."

I also liked the messages that were in this book -- that sometimes things don't always work out for you. Not only did Little Chick realize that his carrot didn't look exactly like he wanted and that it was okay, but he also learned that patience is important. The Old-Auntie hen was a terrific teacher to Little Chick and was always teaching her valuable life lessons like how to look at things a little differently. I think these themes are very important for children today, and I love how this book gives parents the opportunity to discuss them with their child.

Rating: 4/5

Jennifer Garnier, Eastern Passage Education said...

In the book, Little Chick, author Amy Hest uses the affection of a loving auntie to soft little chick?s disappointments and teach the value of patience. Each story in this vignette is short and beautifully illustrated to capture the attention of young readers.
This book would be a wonderful addition to any elementary school, daycare or home book shelf.

Jennifer Garnier,LSS
Eastern Passage Education CentreEastern Passage, Nova Scotia

Anonymous said...

I just received my copy Thursday afternoon and couldn't wait to sit down and read it. Little Chick is a delightful book. The illustrations are absolutely adoring. This is a wonderful book to teach little ones about patience. I loved each of the three stories about Little Chick's and Old Auntie's adventures. This book will absolutely be added to my classroom library.

EShay said...

Little Chick had cute stories with predictable endings. This would be great for lower elementary or as a read aloud.

I liked how it was a very brief chapter book with the multiple stories.

The soft colors and typography were charming. The colors made the story seem warm and friendly, while the typeface was large with extra leading - thus making it easier to read. I loved the layout.

I would give it a 4.5

Cori said...

This book is adorable for both elementary classrooms and the home. I liked how it had three separate short stories which makes it a great book to use when you finish a lesson and still have about five minutes before it's time to take your students down to lunch.

Amy said...

I just got mine in today and had to read it! First, I have to comment on how attractive the presentation is. The illustrator did a tremendous job!

The story is very catchy and also very touching. I want to share this with my 6th graders as they are learning that just because a book is a picture book - it doesnt mean it is out of their 'league'.

Thank you for writing it and thank you for sending it!

ahslibrarian said...

The soft pastels of Anita Jeram’s watercolors make Amy Hest’s Little Chick seem a bit nostalgic and strangely familiar. The three stories included in this picture book trace a day with Little Chick and her Old-Auntie, the hen. While each story stands on its own, the set of three stories makes for a comfortable read before bed or preceding a quiet time.

Little Chick could develop into a read-aloud favorite, but it is more likely that it will be enjoyed in the company of a child and their primary caregiver. In other words, it is a sit-in-my-lap-and-read-book. The stories are constructed to highlight the relationship of a nurturing caregiver as they help a young one understand the complexities of growing a carrot, flying a kite, and catching a star.

Spring is the time for chicks, gardens, and kites. Public libraries will want to make this book available for parents. Classrooms that support parents and younger children reading together might also want to consider purchasing this book.

3 out of 5

John Parker
Media Coordinator
Andrews High School
50 HS Drive
Andrews, NC 28901


Barbara Duggan said...

Little Chick is a luminous and thoughtful book...perfect for calming and sharing with a special young one. The three stories are not overly "sweet", but they are engaging.
Rating 4/5.

The Black Family said...

This book is fabulous for toddlers and preschoolers. The illustrations gorgeous, yet are simple and appealing and the stories are concise and easy to understand. I loved the depictions of Little Chick and his Auntie. I give this a 5 out of 5 for pre=K picture books!

Carrie Blagg, Cherokee Elementary School, Paradise Valley, AZ said...

"Little Chick" is the perfect picture book for preschoolers and kindergarten students. This book contains three endearing stories about Little Chick and Old-Auntie. My favorite story is "The Carrot That Would Not Grow" because it is expresses the importance of patience.

This book is perfect for our kinders as they have planted table gardens and "patiently" awaiting for their vegetables, herbs, and flowers to grow.

Love the stories and the illustrator, Anita Jeram, created beautiful illustrations to bring the story to life.

5 out of 5. A MUST picture book for all libraries and elementary classrooms! Job well done, ladies!

Miss Laura said...

Little Chick is a delightful, sweet book. My children were so excited when it came and couldn’t wait to read it. My ten year old promptly read it to her 6 and 4 year old cousins, who listened attentively to the entire book. I read it to my active boy (6) and he also wanted the entire book.
I would call it a quietly gentle read, perfect for unwinding. I especially liked the example of mentoring found with “old Auntie.”
My daughter says it should get a “10” -- so we must rate it a 5 in our home.

Anonymous said...

The soft and sweet illustrations in this book couple with the simple and reassuring text. THree short stories recount the adventures of Little Chick, who faces difficulties and omnipresent Old Aunty, who is always there with a reassuring word. For a young crowd, this will be an excellent story.

Susan O'Connell
Jeudevine Memorial Library
Hardwick, VT

Treasure Hatch said...

4/5 This book would be great for a kindergarten read aloud or a preschool. The Illustrations are soft and sweet and the story relays a wonderful message of not everything you want is what you will get. Great book

wordwarrior said...

What a delightful book. The illustrations were enjoyable for an adult to appreciate, and children of course fall right in love with the likeable little chick and his auntie hen. I admired the fact that the writer did not have auntie hen tell little chick what to do, but gently encouraged until little chick figured out his delimna in each story. This style of gentle persuasion is a great example to both young children who often get quickly discouraged or find themselves wanting something out of their reach. Little chick teaches that sometimes its the approach to a problem, like the kite story and other times its simply how you look at your problem as in the carrot story. Although little chick is written for a young reader, even older students can gain from the hidden story beneath the obvious elements. This is a DEFINATE picnic basket item and I give it a 5.

Lisa Kennedy said...

Sadly, I was not nearly as entralled with Little Chick the story as I was the illustrations showing the love the old Auntie has for Little Chick. The personalities of te characters. Perhaps it is just to simple for my audience. I give it a 3.

Susan Appleton said...

Great little collection of stories with the inquisitive main character of Little Chick. It just warms your heart to read these stories and experience the child-like innocence and wonder that we lose as adults. Definitely a recommend for little ones and even older ones who could explore the themes behind each of the stories! It gives you a warm feeling! It deserves a 5 out of 5 rating!

Anonymous said...

This book is a 5 in my picnic basket.
What a sweet story. The pictures of the chick's adventures were wonderful for the young reader.
I love that the story was broken down into three. The stories stated what the problem was that the little chick had. It is a great way to get the young reader started on problem solving.
Old-Auntie was a surprise character for me. When you read books about little animals or children you expect that their mother or father is the one that is helping them learn new things.
I liked the change with the Old-Auntie, and how patient she is with the chick.
This was a very nice read. One that can be used for the older students to read to the primary school children.
Jackie Purificato
consultant teacher

SunshineFamily said...

This book is adorable and Little Chick seems like a wonderful addition to any preschool book shelf. I do feel, however, that it is a bit too reminiscent of Little Bear, which is one of my all time favorites. The little lessons throughout the book and then the bedtime story ending made me dig out my copy of Little Bear to read again. I give a Picnic Basket rating of 4 for the illustrations, but a 3 for originality.

Lemon the Duck said...

Little Chick left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I read this to my young niece and grandaughter and they kept wanting me to read about "widdle chit" over and over again. I happily obliged.
I liked the variation of wise old Auntie. It was wonderful to see the elderly being revered. I especially loved the story about the kite. The whispering tone showed a calm patience on the part of both characters which is perfect modeling for little children who tend to get frustrated very easily.
Little Chick learned patience, to appreciate what you have, and that sometimes when you least expect it, good things can happen.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5.
Laura Backman
Reading Specialist
Author of "Lemon the Duck"
http:// lemontheduck.com

Andrea said...

I just read "Little Chick" to my kindergarten class today, thinking it might not be action-packed enough to hold their attention. I'm happy to say I was wrong! The amount of writing and the pictures invited them to participate with their own observations ("Oh, she doesn't know that it will take that carrot a long time to grow."; "Maybe could she get up to reach that star?"; "I think she needs some wind for the kite.")

So I solicited a book review from my students ... Olivia says, "Two thumbs up." Faith says, "I would check that out from the library." Cyrus (who prefers his animals to be wild and ferocious) says, "I wouldn't check it out from the library, but I think other kids would!"

"Little Chick - Picture book" would make a great one-on-one book, as well as a classroom read aloud book. I could even see myself using it to teach literary elements.

Deb Morgan said...

This is a beautifully illustrated collection of three stories about Little Chick and Auntie. The preschoolers that I shared it with enjoyed following little chick's adventures and were rooting for her as she tried to get her kite to fly. It would be great to use for spring theme units or as a tool in teaching patience and persistance. Another asset of this book was that the words used were simple enough for our Early Readers to follow along successfully.I would definately recommend this book for preschools and families.A five!

Heather Hill said...

"Little Chick" has three original, adorable stories with beautiful artwork. This is a great book for daycares and early elementary students. Kids will immediately love Little Chick. I rate the book a 4.

Heather Hill, Reading Specialist
Sinclair Elementary
Manassas, VA

a said...

Little Chick review. Cute book, great illustrations, didn't care for the 3 short stories in one, would have preferred one more detailed story instead. Nice job though.

spmdmom said...

The stories were lovely but it's the illustrations that make this book so delightful. Together the text and pictures portray little chick's loving relationship with Old Auntie. The gentle teaching of life lessons are an added bonus

DD said...

Three timeless, reassuring stories of Little Chick triumphing over the adversity of a too small carrot, a pesky kite and an illusive star. Perfect for reading aloud to a young child before turning out the lights. Students I shared this book with gave it 4/5.
Elementary School Teacher Librarian

Rebecca said...

This book was so cute and prek-1st will love the story and the illustrations.

Stacy B. said...

LITTLE CHICK is an absolute delight! The soft illustations match the text with simple wording on each page. I enjoyed that there are three stories in the book to be read/discussed with my Kindergarten class in different settings. The stories encourage dialogue with little learners and I can see how my class might want to write their own story based on LITTLE CHICK. Well done!