In his second outing, Peepsqueak remains the same plucky and determined chick, but this tale lacks that certain something that made the first special.
At the end of Peepsqueak’s eponymous “flying” adventure (2012), his eyes were fixed upon the pond, but Clark fails to take up that thread. On this particular sunny day, the baby chicks go out into the barnyard to play two by two, but poor Peepsqueak doesn’t have a partner. Undaunted, he simply goes into the woods to find a buddy. Warnings from several pairs of animals do not faze him, as he chirrups his catchy refrain: “You are 2 but I am 1; / my search for a friend has just begun.” The huge footprints Peepsqueak follows and the cave at the end of his search are clues as to the friend he will find and bring back to the barnyard. But Peepsqeak’s triumphant proclamation—“Friends don’t just come in 2s. / Real friends make room for all!”—may make readers wonder why Peepsqueak had to search for a friend—he already had six. The digitally colored artwork emphasizes the individuality of each chick, while the bright colors and adorable animals are sure to capture and hold readers’ attention as they follow Peepsqueak’s bouncing, dotted-line trail through the forest. The text changes type, font and color, calling readers’ eyes to it, as well.
While young readers will welcome Peepsqueak back, parents may miss the emphasis on hard work and practice that made him such a standout character. (Picture book. 2-5)