Monday, 4 March 2013

Review: 'Prairie Chicken Little' by Jackie Mims Hopkins

Prairie Chicken Little by Jackie Mims Hopkins, illustrated by Henry Cole, 2013, Peachtree Publishers, $15.95, hardbound, 30 pages. Category/Genre: mainstream. Cover: Action-oriented. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

A Texas twist on Chicken Little, this book has Mary McBlicken, the prairie chicken, running to tell Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan that there's a stampede coming. 

Younger readers will like the rhyming names and the way the story unfolds in repetition. Plus the names are very creative: Jeffrey Snog the prairie dog, Beau Grabbit the jack rabbit, June Spark the meadowlark, and Slim Brody the sly coyote round out the bunch. 

There's a perilous turn near the end, in which Slim nearly tricks Mary and her friends into becoming a meal for him -- but things turn out all right, and the ending is something kids will find humorous. 

Personally, we didn't care for the way some of the characters are depicted (the prairie dog, the jack rabbit, and the dog in particular), plus we didn't like the way the characters' mouths droop downward. But Cole's artwork is definitely expressive, and kids will likely warm to it. And the coyote and the horse, as well as the insects, were done quite well. 

Age range: 4-8. 

If you like this one, try: Suggestions? 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

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