cover image TIPPY-TOE CHICK, GO!


George Shannon, , illus. by Laura Dronzek. . HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-029823-4

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. (Feb.)