cover image Five Little Chicks

Five Little Chicks

Nancy Tafuri, . . S&S, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-87342-3

Mama Hen knows best. When her five newborn chicks are hungry, they eye delicacies too big for their diminutive stomachs. The first fluffy yellow chick "with a little squirm,/ spied a fat wiggly worm." The fifth chick, "with a little pout,/ saw a long shiny trout." But the hen, a striking matriarch with burnished orange feathers and a bright red hood and wattle, firmly steers her brood's attention to the corn patch, where they can "scratch, scratch, scratch" until the sun goes down. "Let's not make a peep!" admonishes Mama Hen as her chicks tuck under her feathery girth after a hard day's pecking. "It's time to snuggle and cuddle and sleep." This simple little story proves once again why Tafuri (I Love You, Little One ) is a favorite with youngsters. Her full-bleed spreads exude a sense of artistic generosity: the tiny details within the large inviting shapes, and her sunny colors invite children to savor the action. Big, bold typography, a simple text and the incorporation of the word "Peep" into the pictures may even encourage nascent readers to pick out a word or two. Ages 2-5. (Feb.)