cover image Tough Chicks

Tough Chicks

Cece Meng, , illus. by Melissa Suber. . Clarion, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-618-82415-1

Stylized, animation-style drawings emphasize the cartoon aspects of a fast-paced story. Meng (The Wonderful Thing About Hiccups ) has fun with Penny, Polly and Molly, three free-spirited chicks who rile the rest of the barnyard with their unchickenlike ways (they don't preen, peck or cluck, and they rope roosters and peer under the hood of the farmer's tractor). Of course they save the day when the tractor's brakes fail and it heads straight for the barnyard. Suber (Milo the Really Big Bunny ) excels at the cinematic portrayal of rapid movement: fence-posts shatter and the tractor gets some air as it hurtles toward the animals. There's little nuance: the animals are caricatures, with googly eyes and goofy grins, and the paisley-shaped chicks are distinguishable only by their decorative feathers. Kids will have fun with this story. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)