Chick Chat

NorthSouth. Jan. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735844094.
PreS-K–Baby Chick has a lot to say, and their family is overwhelmed by the chattering! Luckily, there is someone new to talk to—a large egg buried under dirt. What will happen when the egg hatches? The egg turns out to be a turtle, who is only too happy to listen to Baby Chick peep. Bynum includes some subtle joking for slightly older readers: Baby Chick’s sister reads a pile of books including A Coop of One’s Own and Find Your Inner Chicken, and later suggests that Baby Chick “hit the hay.” Dynamic digital illustrations in pastel tones detail Baby Chick’s search for someone to listen and celebrate a joyful quest. Readers will delight in the full-page spreads with simple detailed backgrounds, and will enjoy following the antics of a stuffed elephant toy from page to page. The plot isn’t as strong as the illustrations, and some adult readers might take issue with a few elements: Baby Chick’s family doesn’t have time for the youngest member, which is really sad, and it’s a little nerve-wracking for the egg to be dug up from where it was safely buried. At times, the book comes close to making statement on talking too much or taking things that do not belong to you but never quite spells it out
VERDICT The illustrations turn an adequate text into something truly charming.

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