Monday, March 30, 2015

If I Only Had Thumbs: Chickee Chicken's Story

Gabany, S. (2015). If I Only Had Thumbs: Chickee Chicken's Story. No Name Press.

Children's Picture Book / Problem Solving

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars

In If I Only Had Thumbs: Chickee Chicken's Story, readers are told the story of momma Chickee Chicken, who gets stranded across a rain swollen stream while she's gathering food for her babies. She realizes the limitations of her own body -- not being able to fly, swim, or build -- and knows that she's going to have to rely on help to get back to her chicks. Readers will be surprised by her rescuer, who just happens to have thumbs to help solve Chickee's dilemma. 

Artist Arlene Berry creates mixed media scenes using papers, acrylics, sketches, and even photographs pulled together to make funky, interesting illustrations. (I am in love with Chickee's rain boots!) The pages are full of texture, color, and detail that kids will enjoy discovering and studying on repeat readings. 

The writing by author Steve Gabany is simple and straightforward, which makes it easy for the youngest to understand and older kids to read alone.  (Side note: I wonder how many kids note that the story includes Mrs. Sun, rather than the more widely used Mr. Sun.) As a personal preference, I think the story would read better and lend itself to little ones memorizing the stories if the lines rhymed and were more parallel in structure. Several great lessons and talking points come through in the story, not the least of which is the utility of having opposable thumbs! This is a fun book, and I look forward to reading some of the other installments in the If I Only Had Thumbs series.

I received an eBook copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.

To learn more, follow author Steve Gabany on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads!


available February 2015

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