Little Chicken's Big Day, by Katie Davis and Jerry Davis, describes a very small adventure in the life of a very small chick. Little Chicken sasses back to his bossy mother, Big Chicken, over getting ready for an outing. But when Little Chicken gets distracted, and loses sight of Big Chicken, out there in the big, wide world, he's awfully relieved to hear her "cluckin'". Little Chicken's Big Day wraps up safe and sound at home, with a book and bedtime, and a final suggestion that Big Chicken (aka Mama) and Little Chicken are both loved.
The text in Little Chicken's Big Day is all dialog, if you can call it that. From Big Chicken come mostly admonishments like "Hold my hand! Stay Close!" and "Buckle up!". For Little Chicken we mostly hear "I hear you cluckin', Big Chicken" (albeit in varied tones). Until the end, that is, when he admits: "I love you, Mama." I think that readers, however young, will realize that "I hear you cluckin'" and "I love you", along with all of Big Chicken's commands, all say pretty much the same thing, anyway.
Like the text, the illustrations in Little Chicken's Big Day are simple. But they're also bright, bold, and very fun. Mostly they just feature Little Chicken, and some part of Big Chicken (e.g. a hand), against a minimalist background. The colors are smooth, and the chickens are shown with bold, black outlines. Perfect for small children not yet ready to get distracted by minute details or busy textures.
But there are a few entertaining details, too. Little Chicken sleeps in an egg-shaped bed, and rides in an egg-shaped car seat. When he chases after a tiny purple butterfly, there's a GREAT image of him looking between his own legs, while the butterfly rests up high, on his little tail feathers. When Little Chicken finds Big Chicken again, he grabs hold of her leg. Which is a narrow stick, disappearing into her much wider bright red shoes.
And Little Chicken is adorable, particularly when he's annoyed with the seeming over-protective bossiness of Big Chicken. He furrows his little eyebrows, and puts his hands on his (nonexistent) hips. I think that preschoolers will want to eat him up, metaphorically speaking.
Little Chicken's Big Day is a book that tackles the fear of getting lost, but does so with a very light touch. Preschoolers are sure to love Little Chicken, and to identify with his relief and joy when he finds his mama again. Recommended for home or library reading.
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (@SimonBooks)
Publication Date: April 19, 2011
Source of Book: Library copy
Nominated for 2011 Cybils in Fiction Picture Books by: Colby Sharp
© 2011 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).