cover image Cheerful Chick

Cheerful Chick

Martha Brockenbrough, illus. by Brian Won. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-13418-6

Persistence and self-awareness win out in this story of a bird trying to find her true squad. Brockenbrough and Won introduce persistent, perky Chicken, who, much to the chagrin of the entire barnyard, “loved to cheer.” Wearing a coordinated sweater and pleated skirt, Chicken practices “side splits, wing stands, super punches” before setting out to realize “her lifelong dream/ to build a barnyard cheering team.” Disappointments follow when the barnyard grown-ups—grumpy Mr. Pig, apathetic Ms. Cow, and sleepy Mr. Sheep—one by one rebuff her attempts at inclusion. (“Who am I,” mopey Chicken asks, “if I cannot cheer?”) Even as she moves from personal defeat to self-realization (“she didn’t need those other folk—/ Just wings and legs and lots of yolk”), she fails to notice the retinue of uniformed chicks following her around the farm. But they’re the key to her happy ending—and everyone else’s. Brockenbrough’s rhymes mimic the rhythm and pacing of a cheer, while Won’s depiction of Chicken’s world is full of color and pep. This is an encouraging tale for the enthusiastic. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (Jan.) [/em]