Lonely Guy: Peepsqueak Wants a Friend by Leslie Ann Clark
AS THE SUN CAME UP OVER THE FARM, ALL THE BABY CHICKS WENT RUNNING INTO THE YARD TO PLAY.
TWO BY TWO, TWO BY TWO, TWO BY TWO
By the time Peepsqueak arrives on the scene, all the other chicks are paired off and oblivious that he is the "only one" all alone.
But the perky Peep figures out the social scene right away.
YOU ARE TWO AND I AM ONE.
MY SEARCH FOR A FRIEND HAS JUST BEGUN!
His friends only notice him as Peepsqueak skitters off into the woods, ignoring the suddenly solicitous warnings of the other chicks.
Peep soon finds some sizeable tracks which for some reason seem promising to follow. Along the way he encounters several naysayers--two hedgehogs and a duo of birds who point out that it's raining. Peep picks a large leaf to hold over his head, recites his oft--repeated refrain, and keeps on skipping through the puddles as he presses on. A couple of raccoons munch on apples and point out that it is lunchtime, but Peep persists in his quest until the footprints end--as foreshadowed--in a dark cave.
Will Peepsqueak find a friend in that cold, dark cave. Does he dare enter?
Leslie Ann Clark's brand-new story of the persistent Peepsqueak, Peepsqueak Wants a Friend! (Harper, 2012) finds the persevering Peep on another mission impossible, looking for love in all the wrong places! Of course there's a happy ending beyond the entrance of that forbidding cave, a furry friend whose fuzzy lap (and shoulders and head) have room for all of Peepsqueak's friends back at the farm. And our loquacious little protagonist has a newly-minted personal proverb all apropos for the occasion:
FRIENDS DON'T JUST COME IN TWOS.
REAL FRIENDS HAVE ROOM FOR ALL.
As in her first book, Peepsqueak!, Clark's illustrations, done in black ink-and-pen, digitally colored in beguilingly bright hues, show off their so-cute chick to best advantage. This story is good for reading aloud any time when kids need to be reminded that it's not all about themselves and their best buddy, that they need to stay inclusive as well.