cover image Chicken Little

Chicken Little

Rebecca Emberley, Author, Edward R. Emberley, Author, Edward R. Emberley

There's a dash of snarkiness in the father-and-daughter Emberleys' version of the familiar fable, but it's to good purpose. By wryly emphasizing that Chicken Little and his clueless compatriots have “no plan” beyond hysterically running and crashing into one another (“Honestly, with names like these, is it any wonder?” the narrator asks after introducing Loosey Goosey), readers can indulge in a healthy feeling of superiority. The Emberleys add a twist at the end, which receives full play on a foldout spread—unfortunately, the illustrations here don't track (the fowl, supposedly inside a fox's mouth, are prematurely shown outside it). The eye-popping colors and handcrafted shapes reflect the aesthetic that Rebecca Emberley has employed successfully elsewhere (see My Big Book of Spanish Words , for example), and the addition of “Bonk!” “Ack!” and other cartoony interjections heightens the silliness. However, the comic chaos that drives the story has infected the composition. Instead of savoring the action, readers may find that their eyes skid across the pages. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)