cover image Pete's Chicken

Pete's Chicken

Harriet Ziefert. Tambourine Books, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13256-9

This longish picture book about an artistic rabbit celebrates the true spirit of originality. Young Pete revels in being a one-of-a-kind bunny: ``In all the world you won't find anyone who is exactly like me,'' he says repeatedly. He's proud of his big nose and crooked ears, and enjoys doing things in his ``own special way.'' When his art teacher asks the class to draw a chicken, Pete lets loose with his crayons and creative juices. But to his dismay, everybody in the class laughs at his picture of a bird with purple feet, blue wings and an orange head, and the teacher doesn't choose it for the bulletin board display. Luckily, the ego bruise is short-lived and Pete's chicken finds a happy home. Ziefert's uncluttered, boisterous text practically sings, filled with Pete's happy proclamations of self-confidence. Rader's energetic paintings keep up with the zippy mood and brisk pace of story. Her depictions of Pete's expressions and the classroom of colorfully clad rabbits are particularly fetching. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)