Saturday, June 03, 2017

Herding Chicks: Splat the Cat and the Quick Chicks by Rob Scotton

Spring has sprung, and across the land that means one thing--primary school classes are hatching eggs, and Splat the Cat's class is no exception. Mrs. Wimpledimple has presided over the incubation of twelve hen eggs faithfully, but on this day she thinks her students should have to chance to help care for the eggs all by themselves.

"Would someone take the eggs home tonight?" she asked.

Many hands go up, so to be fair, Mrs. W. decides that they will draw straws, and to his delight, Splat wins the pick, drawing the shortest stick, in a final round with his sometime friend Plank.

"Just keep them warm," Mrs. Wimpiedimple waves blithely. "That'll do the trick!" she says.

Splat is thrilled. He's been paying attention to the way his teacher has cared for the eggs, turning them every day. He can do it.

What could possibly go wrong?

And, of course, savvy youngsters will likely predict what happens on Splat's first morning in charge. He wakes to the sound of a PEEP! and soon all twelve chicks are producing a chorus of CHEEPS! That in itself would be all right, but the chicks are all over his bed, pecking at his feet! Splat is not prepared for the fact that the chicks won't stick to their nest in his dresser drawer.

Suddenly Splat is promoted to Chick Wrangler.

And the chick chase is on! Chicks are quick. They run lickety-split, and the super-conscientious Splat is worried sick, as he tries to herd them all to school, in Rob Scotton's Splat the Cat and the Quick Chicks (I Can Read Level 1) (Harper, 2016). Working with a controlled vocabulary featuring -ick words, listed in the backmatter, this I-Can-Read (Level 1) beginning reader book is a topical pick to trick early readers into sticking with some solo reading practice even when school is out.

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