Monday, June 28, 2021

Too Many Cheeps and Peeps! Chick Chat by Janie Bynum



It's breakfast time, and between bites from his little bowl of worms, Baby Chick is already full of PEEPS! Daddy Rooster is a bit appalled at his prolific little cheeper. Mom Chicken's small smile conveys both pride and impatience at the peep-athon. Big Sister plops her head down on the table with mock desperation and moans... Puh-leez!

. . ."MAKE IT STOP."

After breakfast Mom Chicken is preoccupied procuring high-protein foods (bugs) for the family's lunch. Papa Rooster perches on the fence post to provide wake-up calls to the public-at-large, and Big Sis Chicken retreats from the perpetual peeping to a spot under a tree, hopefully for respite from some chick lit advice books like A Coop of One's Own and Find Your Inner Chicken. Nobody is up for a cheep chat.


Baby Chick loads up her little wagon with gardening tools and her plush elephant, and, perpetually peeping as she pulls her load, she stops at a good place to dig. But her little trowel soon strikes something:

THUNK!     . . . . . . . .       PEEP?

It's a big round egg, which apparently doesn't speak Peep. But Baby Chick feels responsible, so, with plenty of peeps, she loads the big egg onto her wagon and pulls it home, where her family is perplexed, but not pleased, at the sight of her find. Mom Chicken points out that the big egg is not Chick's property!


But Baby Chick feels responsible. She stands guard, protecting the big egg from falling acorns with her parasol, filling him in on the neighborhood news, and falls asleep on top of him when it gets dark. Mom Chicken has to haul her home to hit the hay with the family. But in the morning at the peep of dawn, Baby Chick is up and peeping, running outside to look for her big egg, where she finds a partly hatched little turtle.

The baby turtle isn't talkative, the perfect pal for Baby Chick, and for the rest of the family....


It's a pair of pals made in heaven, in Janie Bynum's just published Chick Chat (NorthSouth, 2021). Author Bynum's text is fairly sparse (except for the peeps), leaving plenty of space for illustrator Bynum's piquant comic illustrations that playfully expand the narration. With black ink outlines and perky poultry portrayed in pastel watercolors, even young chatterboxes will get the message, and kids in the primary grades will love the satisfying conclusion for the Chatty Cathys and Silent Sams in the audience. "A sweet story told with gentle humor," chirps Kirkus Reviews.

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