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Tippy-Toe Chick, Go! Hardcover – January 21, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Dronzek (Oh!) makes the most of Shannon's (Tomorrow's Alphabet) tale of a diminutive hero's feats of derring-do, with folk art simplicity and a palette as lush as the first greens of spring. A hen and her three chicks go every morning "to the garden for their favorite treat-sweet itty-bitty beans and potato bugs." But one day, a nasty dog (think Petey, from Our Gang, with his black-encircled eye) barks menacingly at Hen, who sighs, "We'll never get past a dog like that." After Big Chick and Middle Chick's imploring and bullying attempts to pass by the canine fail, the two siblings laugh when Little Chick peeps, "I want to try." Though small, the smart, quick chick runs "tippy-toe" round and round the tree where the dog is tied, causing him to wrap his leash around the trunk as he chases her. Little ones will cheer this "underchick" who takes on a bully several times her size and wins. Shannon's prose runs clean and spare, spiked with just enough "tippy-toe, tippy-toes" and "Ruff-Ruffs" to make reading aloud fun. The simply drawn chicks and the vibrant acrylic backdrop of bright green grass and hot pink, blue and purple flowers make this a perky springtime offering. Ages 3-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-In this inviting tale, the youngest member of a family saves the day. Hen and her offspring make a daily trip to the garden to feast on yummy beans and potato bugs. Little Chick always trails behind, daydreaming, and then quickly runs across the yard to catch up with the others. One day, a loud dog that has been tied to a nearby tree blocks their path. Frightened, Hen is ready to turn around, but her hungry children insist on a confrontation. Big Chick and Middle Chick each take a turn with the barking beast and end up cowering under their mother's wing. Although her siblings laugh at her, Little Chick demands a chance at defeating the dog, and comes up with a courageous and cunning plan that makes use of her natural speed. Before long, the pooch is neatly tied up and the road to the goodies is clear. Lyrical language, catchy sound effects ("tippy-toe, tippy-toe"), and just the right amount of suspense keep the action moving at a brisk pace. With an interesting mix of dramatic full-page spreads and smaller vignettes, the colorful acrylic paintings pick up on both the humor and the tension of the text. Accentuated by fluid black lines and set against lush green backgrounds, the characters seem to jump right off of the pages. A winning choice for storytime or one-on-one sharing.
Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
We meet a mother hen and her three chicks. Wearing a Charlie Brownish expression of permanent worry, the hen takes her chicks every day to the nearby garden to eat itty-bitty beans and potato bugs (their favorite treat). Big Chick and Middle Chick follow obediently but Little Chick tends to dawdle along to observe the world around her. When she sees that she has fallen behind she runs "tippy-toe, tippy-toe" to catch up. This routine happens with great regularity until one day a dog on a rope prevents the family from making their daily garden run. The chicks are, needless to say, put out. To stop the dog the Big Chick attempts to reason with the dog. No good. Then the Middle Chick tries threats. No good. Finally, the Little Chick decides to try her hand (in spite of the laughter of her siblings). She runs "tippy-toe, tippy-toe" at the dog and around a tree. The dog follows angrily until it gets caught and the others are able to safely get to the garden. The last shot is of Little Chick descending on a large juicy potato bug with the word, "YUM!".
With a catchy title like, "Tippy-Toe Chick, GO!" you'd kind of expect the book to be of the rhyming variety. This is not the case. Though there's a lot of enjoyment to be had in reading "tippy-toe, tippy-toe" over and over, that's about as rhythmic as it gets. The text is rather straightforward, but with a nature that's fun. Some words are in bold or capitalized to help adult readers know what phrases to stress. I'm not sure if there's a moral to the story beyond, "Little people can help too" (a staple in children's literature and folktales). Are we supposed to learn something when reason and violence don't work against opponents? Are we to assume that outsmarting them is the only recourse left? Or am I reading too much into a 27 page picture book? Whatever the case, the illustrations to this story are as simple as the text. Drawn by artist Laura Dronzek (married, as it happens, to the fabulous children's author/artist Kevin Henkes of "Lily's Purple Plastic Purse" fame), the pictures are big, bright, and colorful. With minimum expressions, Dronzek is able to convey each animal's emotions perfectly. The pictures are broken up nicely into full colorful spreads, images where characters react on a pure white background, and (in at least one case) four individual pictures spanning two pages. Altogether, the artist has matched her illustrations nicely to the story.
"Tippy-Toe Chick, GO!" isn't the most original picture book out there today, but it's one of the nicest. And while kids probably won't go gagga over it (as they would with, say, "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus") they'll like it quite a lot. If you're the kind of person who enjoys reading catchy phrases like "tippy-toe, tippy-toe" and want a picture book that teaches a basic lesson about individual talents, this chick's for you.