A Lovely Little Book

Josie Leavitt - May 17, 2010

I love wordless books. I think they work for kids of all ages. The freedom to create your own story each time you “read” is liberating and fun. Every picture can be pored over to see new details.
I can happily add a new book to my list of favorites: The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez.  This book is delightful in every way. Foxes and chickens don’t get along, as we all know, as do Chicken’s friends Bear, Rabbitt and Rooster. So, when a sly fox comes and steals Chicken, her friends leap to save her.
As Fox runs off with Chicken, the gang leaps to follow, with all the animal friends on Bear’s shoulders. The scene goes into nighttime with the friends tired and despairing. But what they can’t see is Fox cuddling a sleepy Chicken in a tree. The friends continue their dogged pursuit of Fox, always working together to save their friend.
One of my favorite pages is when Bear gets stuck in a foxhole, and we see Fox and Chicken snug in a different hole playing chess. Yes, these two are destined to be good friends. The art is touchingly soft without being cloying. When Bear turns himself into a boat to follow Fox on the ocean, it’s laugh-out-loud funny.
Finally, the friends meet up with Fox and Chicken in Fox’s house. Bear has club at the ready to clobber Fox, but when Chicken explains that Fox has become a friend, Bear heaves a sign of relief and all share a meal. An animal misunderstanding resolved!
This book deals with friendship in some really great ways that young children will understand and appreciate. Unlikely friendships are celebrated, the message of working together is dealt with nicely, and loyal friends are revered. And it all works. All the notes ring true and I’ve been happily handselling this book since it came in last week.

2 thoughts on “A Lovely Little Book

  1. Maggie

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will order it for the library! In an Every Child Ready to Read workshop I learned that wordless books are good for parents who have problems reading to share with their children. They can create excitement about reading and books so their children want to learn how to read.


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