cover image Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale

Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale

Sam Wedelich. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-35901-5

Whimsy reigns in Wedelich’s debut picture book, a reimagining of the classic doomsday story. Punchy speech balloons and spare, loosely lined digital cartoons imbue the title character with abundant personality and humorous mood swings. Sporting oversize red specs and diminutive red boots, the confident chick insists that she is “not little! I am petite!... and I’m not afraid of anything!” She’s rattled after an unidentified object drops from above (“Bonk!”) but insists that there must be a reasonable explanation: “It’s not like the sky is falling.... That’s ridiculous! Or is it?” The curious chicken climbs a ladder to have a candid conversation with the sky—represented by quirky facial features suspended in the air—which insists that it is not falling (“No. Honestly, I’m fine”). But an inevitable misunderstanding ensues, with Chicken Little proclaiming it “clucky chaos! Utter hen-demonium!” before calming the frantic flock, which shifts its attention to bandaging her “bonk.” Sprawling across vertical matte pages dominated by teal and ochre hues, Wedelich’s hand-lettered text mimics her story’s high energy, while the hens’ wry asides (“We’re free-range!”) amplify the comedy. A spry readaloud that will entertain adults and listeners in equal measure. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Molly O'Neill, Root Literary. (June) [/em]