Lily the chicken is chicken.
Lily the plump, yellow chick is a good colorer (always between the lines) and is patient at working puzzles. She’s a pro at hide-and-seek (she never makes a peep). However, she won’t take the training wheels off her bike or try new foods at lunch, and she never raises her hand in class, even when she knows the answer. When the teacher announces a poetry slam, all Lily’s barnyard friends are excited to read their poems on stage; Lily is terrified. She’s too scared to tell Mrs. Lop about her stage fright, so she’s on the bill, but that doesn’t help her with her writer’s block. It’s not until she considers how much worse it would be to be onstage without anything to read that Lily writes her poem. Facing her fear makes her a slightly less chicken chicken. Mortensen’s tale of timid poultry fearing poetry rises above other fear-of-the-new titles when its protagonist tackles her own anxiety instead of taking direction from an outside source. Young listeners will identify with her fears. Crittenden’s slightly anthropomorphic farm folk, rendered in watercolors, are a smiling and supportive if slightly generic group. Touches of humor, verbal and visual, make Lily’s baby step toward bravery believable and replicable.
Nice addition to storytimes and good bibliotherapy for anyone who’s a little chicken. (Picture book. 3-8)