cover image One Little Chicken: A Counting Book

One Little Chicken: A Counting Book

David Elliott, , illus. by Ethan Long. . Holiday, $16.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1983-8

Terpsichore-inspired poultry drive this genial counting book. “Five chickens put on five grass skirts,” writes Elliott (And Here’s to You! )— this being a G-rated book, the hens all wear bikini tops—“Then they hula/ and they hula/ and they hula/ till it hurts.” No genre seems immune from the chickens’ dance fever: Long portrays them doing ballet, ballroom, swing, jive and even the shimmy. The digital illustrations lack the sweetly manic quality of Long’s work for Mañana, Iguana —the colors from his agreeable sherbet palette lack depth and characters feel a little too neatly contained. But a dancing chicken is always good for a giggle, and very young readers will undoubtedly appreciate the direct order, proffered at book’s end, to get up and dance with the rest of the henhouse “till the cows come home.” Ages 2-5. (Oct.)