Thursday, March 22, 2012

Home Alone! All by Myself! by Geraldine Collet

When Mama left the chicken coop, she left me all by myself.

"What if they don't come home before it gets really dark?" worried Leonard.

Misery loves company, and at least Lily, Ivan, Shirley, and Leonard are all in the same boat, er, coop.

Being home alone is SCARY! What if their moms never come back? What do the chicks do?

Well, first they cry. That done, one resourceful chick suggests they strike out looking for their moms. Sensible Lily suggests that they wait until someone shows up to help. Leonard hears sinister sounds, and Disaster Lady Shirley responds with a dire possibility.

"And what if it's a fox who comes?"

One courageous chick dons a superhero cape and offers to leap out and scare away the fox, and a less daring peeper suggests a hiding place, but Crisis Queen Shirley is still not persuaded.

"I can't take it anymore!" shrieked Shirley.

But before panic totally takes possession of the coop, Ivan distracts the group with an ad lib game of "can't catch me." Just as the chicks are beginning to have fun, they hear something at the door of the coop.

Slowly it opens....

Being left on your own for the first time can be an alarming adventure, but all's well that ends well, with all the mamas back home, and with take-out, a surprise treat of grain, in Geraldine Collet's All by Myself! (Owlkids Books, 2012). A deft translation from the French by Sarah Quinn and charming illustrations by Coralie Saudo highlight each chick's particular personality as they come up with their own coping strategies in this engaging edition of the well-worked "where's Mama?" theme.

Kirkus gives this one a rare starred review, saying "Illustrations are full of quirky, mischievous touches sure to bring smiles... This superlatively cute look at the bond between mother and child takes a proud place next to Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson’s Owl Babies."

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