Six Little Chicks by Jez Alborough

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Six Little Chicks by Jez Alborough

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: When you're just a newborn chick, all you want to do is to play and have fun with your brothers and sisters. However, if there's a big, bad, sly fox on the prowl, it might not be safe to do so. Luckily, there are lots of farmyard friends to help keep them safe but are their efforts really enough and can they actually prevent the fox from having chicks for his dinner?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2012
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780857530301

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It's a beautiful day and Hen has already given birth to five fine chicks. She still has one more egg to hatch though so she still needs to sit on that while the other chicks explore and play outside. She is just settling down when she hears Owl’s loud 'To-wit-to-woo!' telling them that the big, bad fox is on the prowl. She dashes out to see all her chicks playing happily with no wolf in sight so she warns them to stay close and goes back to her egg. Not long after, Goose comes along with a similar warning but still there is no fox. Finally though, the fox does arrive and although the chicks are now hiding in the hen house, he entices them to 'come closer'. It looks as if time may be up for these sweet little creatures. Luckily though, the fifth chick had been kicking a stick which, in the little ones' attempts to get away, flies up in the air and manages to land in the fox's mouth wedging it open. This is very fortunate as it is just in time for them to see their sixth little brother or sister be born!

This is a very cute story which I feel sure will appeal to many small children especially as the evil fox does not get his way. There is a good sense of camaraderie amongst the farmyard animals and my daughter and I definitely wanted to give a cheer when they see off the big bad fox. It's a well written story, all in rhyme, which adds to the enjoyment as well as helping young children develop their phonological skills. We also really liked a lot of the description as there are lots of very well chosen adjectives. One such example that describes the fox is:

He sniffed through the crack and tried to squeeze in,
with his long pointy snout and his big toothy grin.

There is also quite a bit of repetition at different parts of the story and this will enable children to start joining in once they get to know the story. Added to that, lots of words are in big, bold capitals for emphasis. These include all of the actions that the little chicks make and I was happily entertained by my daughter joining in with these actions, cheeping, pecking, hopping, flapping and kicking, as we read the book together.

I must also mention the lovely illustrations that really add to the enjoyment of the story. However, my daughter pointed out that a couple of the pictures, such as the wolf's face leering through the hen house door, are a little bit scary. I have to agree with her so I would just warn that slightly nervous children may be perturbed by these.

Overall, this is a great picture book from Jez Alborough, and one that we thoroughly enjoyed.

Why not take a look at other books by this great author, Some Dogs Do or Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby

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