When will the last little chick hatch?
In a farmyard story laden with egg-cellent puns, anthropomorphic chickens Mama and Papa and their two big chicks (who are unmentioned in the text, appearing only in the illustrations) wait for their three new eggs to hatch. It’s very “egg-citing.” The first two eggs hatch quickly, but the third won’t budge. The babies each “hatch a plan” involving boisterous barnyard activities, but nothing works, “Maybe we just need to be patient,” suggests Mama, and then the family settles in to read while they wait. The chicks, and even Papa, start to drift off to sleep as Mama reads The Princess and the Peacock, Beauty and the Beak, and then the eponymous Peeping Beauty, but everyone awakens as they hear the chick in the egg start to peep during the last story. Inspired by the “peck on the cheek” the rooster gives to Peeping Beauty in the book, the family circles around the last egg to “give a little extra love.” This does the trick, and not one, but two little chicks hatch from the egg in a surprise ending. Waring’s bright, playful digital illustrations augment the text’s humor, but their addition of the two big chicks seems unnecessary and potentially confusing, since they closely resemble the first chicks to hatch, and with no names among the four of them, readers will be forgiven for not knowing exactly which chick is which.
A mostly (t)winning story to make readers cackle. (Picture book. 3-6)