From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—The creator of Baby Duck presents three short adventures that brim with childlike concerns and solutions. Little Chick impatiently waits for her carrot to grow and then finally pulls it, finds a way to make her kite fly, and accepts that she cannot catch her favorite star and put it in her pocket. The protagonist, like many youngsters, wants what she wants immediately, but her understanding and wise Old-Auntie is always there to ease life's disappointments. The text is gentle, affectionate, and child-centered with some lovely turns of phrase and on-target dialogue. The stories become repetitive by the end, but that fact likely makes them more reassuring and appealing to the intended audience. Jeram's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations shine. Little Chick is so perfectly childlike—lying on her back holding her toes when she has to wait, leaning on Old-Auntie when things get too hard, or hanging her head dejectedly when her kite won't fly. Readers will empathize simply by looking at her. Old-Auntie is large and comforting yet distinctively birdlike, and the pages are nicely varied, mixing spot sequences with single- and double-page paintings. From the green-checked endpapers to the blue-washed star-filled sky on the final spread, Little Chick
is a joy to behold and will find a treasured place in most collections.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
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Hest, who might be best known for her books about Baby Duck, here takes as her heroine a chick, who restlessly wants things she can’t have. The book is divided into three chapters. In the first, Little Chick is waiting for her carrot plant to grow tall, but little seems to happen. Old-Auntie hen notes that small carrots can be as good as tall ones, so Chick pulls her carrot from the ground and admires it for its beauty. Stories like this usually counsel patience, so although this is an interesting twist, it may confuse kids. The second story is about Chick’s frustrations in learning to fly a kite, and the last shows Little Chick reaching for a star she’d like to put in her pocket, even as Old-Auntie notes that no matter how good a “stretcher” she is, sometimes stars are prettiest in the sky. The book is handsomely designed, but the soft watercolor spreads of the hen and chick do get a bit repetitive. For the youngest, who may have their own opinions on wants and needs, though, this does open the doorway for discussions. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ilene Cooper