Review Blog

May 12 2014

Chooky-doodle-doo by Jan Whiten

cover image

Ill. by Sinead Hanley. Walker Books Australia, 2014. ISBN 9781921977879.
Recommended for Pre-school students. Picture Book. This fresh and colourful picture book is an introduction to simple counting and rhyming which will delight children and parents. The short verse structures are repeated with the only changes in the third line and of course the numbers.

One little chooky chick
Pulling at a worm.
Clucky cluck, worm's stuck.
What should chooky do?

As more chickens are added to the line and the worm proves to be long and strong, five chickens are recruited before the rhyme changes to the concept of lots, being six, and a rooster are introduced along with cock-a-doodle-doo.
With a bit of team work and an extra effort the worm comes loose to reveal a surprise for all, a farmer's buried shoe with the lace being the expected worm.
By using the question, 'What should chooky do?' children are asked to respond and make suggestions establishing connections between their own experiences and the story. The final question, 'Who knew?', invites a conclusion before the answer is revealed over the page again encouraging participation in the story.
The large easy to read font, plenty of white space and stylised chickens created using both digital and hand crafted collage techniques using a limited range of colours keeps the focus on the chicks.
Sue Keane

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