CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 14. . . .December 6, 2013
Confessing her fear of water to a helpful and compassionate frog, Little Chicken Duck's anxiety is given voice by what other birds have feared. An Owl who was terrified of the dark, a lark who dreaded his own warbling, a robin whose phobia was getting wet, a cuckoo who had a fear of falling, quails who were frightened of snails, and finally an American Bald eagle intimidated by lightning storms, all share their stories and how they managed to overcome what they had dreaded. Encouraged by their courageous sharing, Little Chicken Duck, now more cheerful and brave, faces his fear of water head on and, in an interesting twisted ending, discovers the frog's true fear.
Beiser is no stranger to creating delightful spirited rhyming texts in children's stories that, at their heart, have a worthwhile lesson suitable to a young reader. Facing one's fears could lead to worthwhile classroom discussions. As in his previous books Miss Mousie's Blind Date and Bradley McGogg, the Very Fine Frog, the rhythmic poetic verse simply flows, if read aloud.
Award-winning illustrator Bill Slavin does this charming tale justice, with delightful artwork rendered in acrylics on gessoed paper. Enchanting perspectives, rich colour, and lively action, all add to the comical retelling of each bird's version of fear. The playfulness of both text and images makes Little Chicken Duck an irresistible choice for both school and home.
Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.
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