CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 7. . . .November 19, 2010.
Chicken, Pig, Cow Horse Around.
(A Ruth Ohi Picture Book).
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2010.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $6.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-244-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-245-4 (hc.).
Preschool-Kindergarten / Ages 2-5.
Review by Claire Perrin.
Was Horse behind the tiny tree?
Was Horse beneath the blanket?
Was Horse waiting by the window?
No. Horse wasn't ANYWHERE.
"What if Horse is in trouble?" worried Chicken.
Oops. Could that be Horse in the fishbowl?
In the fourth adventure of Chicken, Pig and Cow, the clay animals meet a new friend, Horse. Cow and Pig are friendly and welcoming, but Chicken is quite the opposite. Trying to get rid of Horse, Chicken suggests they play Hide and Seek. During the game, Horse goes missing, and the animals start to worry. They begin to search frantically around the house for their new friend.
Eventually, it is Chicken who dives into the fishbowl with a huge SPLASH to save Horse. It turns out that Horse was behind the fishbowl and not inside it, and so Horse jumps in to help Chicken. At the bottom of the fishbowl, Chicken apologizes, and Horse tells Chicken how brave he was. Cow and Pig jump in too only to realize they don't float very well. Finally the animals work together to climb out of the fishbowl. Even their friend Dog gets involved in the rescue by pulling all the animals out with a shoelace. In the end, all the animals are friends and begin playing a real game of hide and seek.
As with the other Chicken, Pig, Cow books, the theme of friendship is central to the story. Co-operation and kindness are also important in this adventure.
Simple sentences with plenty of repetition make the book just right for young children to understand. Ohi's cheerful watercolour illustrations support the story and add humour. A close look at the pictures will reveal many more details that are not told in the story.
Chicken, Pig, Cow Horse Around is a perfect read for preschoolers who can learn from Chicken and Horse how to be better friends.
Claire Perrin is a teacher-librarian with the Toronto District School Board in Toronto, ON.
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