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by Cece Meng and illustrated by Melissa Suber

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-618-82415-1
Publisher: Clarion

Mama Hen’s three new chicks just won’t be cute—or good, much to the dismay of all the barnyard residents, except their proud Mama. They race the bugs, rope the rooster and dive off the fence for fun, running around the farm with an unusual series of un–chick-like cries: “Peep, peep, zoom, zip, cheep!” They won’t learn how to cluck, scratch for grain or build a nest. They even poke around under the hood of the big red tractor. Even the hyper-supportive Mama worries that their differences might get them into mischief or, even worse, make them outcasts. One day, Farmer Fred has some trouble with his tractor; it careens out of control and lands in a mud hole, and it’s Penny, Polly and Molly to the rescue. Suber’s bright acrylics fit the broad strokes of Meng’s delightful tale, investing each yellow, droplet-shaped chick with an individual personality. Comfy, round shapes dominate her compositions, which tilt and veer off-kilter with the chicks’ energy; taking a cue from the cartoons, she depicts the chicks’ running feet as a blur of tiny orange strokes. Sublime and original. (Picture book. 3-6)