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by Barbara Joosse & illustrated by Rick Chrustowski

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-075042-8
Publisher: Greenwillow

Banty Hen feels broody and lays seven beautiful eggs for the Aunties to bucka-buk over. She keeps them safe and warm, and “[s]oon tiny beaks pip the shells. / Pip. / Rip! / Peek. / PEEP!” Seven fluffy, curious, energetic chicks race around the barnyard. They don’t know what’s dangerous and what isn’t, so Banty Hen has to keep them safe. Is a cat dangerous? A snake? A raccoon? Good thing Banty Hen has the help of the Aunties, Rooster and Duck. With its onomatopoeic kaks, kuks and bucka-buks, Joosse’s latest straddles the line between cartoon and natural-history narrative. There are several opportunities for short counting lessons of eggs or blue-eyed chicks as they race across the pages. Chrustowski’s full-bleed collage illustrations, a departure from his usual highly saturated colored-pencil artwork, are the real standout here. The author’s “How Little Chicks Grow” note at the back leaves out Rooster’s part in the process but is otherwise complete; the illustrator’s note discusses both his models and his methods. For larger collections or where the author’s books are a draw. (Picture book. 2-5)