Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

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Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: I'm not entirely sure the dangers of online dating are quite a suitable subject for a toddler's picture book, but this is a funny story and you may well want to share it with your 14 year old, as well as your four year old!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2014
Publisher: Andersen
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781783440528

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Chick has a problem. Every night, when the farmer and his wife are asleep, she sneaks into their house and goes online on their computer to order things. She starts with a teapot, and a motorbike! Soon she's buying diamond watches and a hundred handbags, for which the farmer blames his wife - she, of course, gets angry and blames his dodgy software since she certainly didn't order those things! Chick starts to buy gifts for all her farm animal friends, but all too soon she realises she's alone on the farm and in need of a friend. Can she find one online?

I really like this story. It's told in rhyme, in an engaging manner, and it's funny all the way through. I think I was tickled immediately by the idea of this small chicken ordering things from the internet. I love how she gets a crazy look in her eyes the more she goes online to order things! All of the silly purchases provide Tony Ross with ample opportunity to draw some very silly pictures, including sheep on scooters and pigs on roller skates!

The story has a good pace to it, and of course all of Tony Ross' illustrations are brilliant. They seem a little softer than usual, but still full of zany characters. I particularly like the cows driving away in their car, and also little chicken weighed down by the many, many, many handbags she has bought online! The simple, short sentences mean that this is a fast bedtime read (important for those nights when you really don't want to read a chapter book for half an hour and just need to get back downstairs to your glass of wine) and also that those just starting out in reading could give the book a go themselves.

It is only the final ending to the story that made me wonder a little if this was quite the right topic for a picture book. When little chick realises all her friends are busy with their new purchases she feels lonely and goes back online to find herself a friend. She poses for a selfie, puts it all online and she finds another chick friend who she goes to meet (without telling her mum or dad where she's going). Of course, when she gets there it turns out her new friend isn't a chick at all but had uploaded a fake picture and is actually a fox, all ready with his knife and fork (and salt and pepper!) Having thought it all over, I think that actually it's probably a good idea to introduce children to this concept from a young age - that not everything you see on the internet is true, and that lots of people are on there aiming to deceive you and, most importantly, you should always discuss these things with your mum and dad. I think the opportunities for discussion after the book are excellent, and I could see this working well in a school setting as an easy way to raise a somewhat complex topic. Of course, this means a sad ending for the poor little shopaholic chicken, not that we see her sad demise, but it's easy to deduce that things do not turn out well for her!

A fun story, with an interesting idea to discuss. Great for bedtimes and internet usage discussions!

Another excellent book with lots to talk about is Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

Buy Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at

Buy Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross at


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