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Author/Illustrator: Cathy MacLennan
Publisher: Boxer Books
Format: Hardcover, also available in paperback
Age Range: Toddler, Preschooler
Kid Love Factor: 4/5
Adult Sanity Factor: 1/5
Chicky Chicky Chook Chook is full of quick onomatopoeic phrases and rhymes and follows some fluffy baby chicks, furry kittens, and fuzzy bees while they peck, scatter, and buzz through the pages. The rambunctious little characters play themselves into a nap, only to be interrupted by a summer thunder storm, which quickly drenches them. Luckily, a strong breeze and some warm sun dry everyone off just in time to go to sleep.
The swirling paint colours and animated depictions of the animals hint at African influences and are well matched to the almost frenetic text. Good luck removing some of the phrases once they get lodged in your brain…
Boo loved the rhythm, the rhymes, and the repetition, and eagerly requested the story be read to him over and over again. I, on the other hand, was about ready to end myself when I saw him coming towards me with it. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a cute book and great fun for toddlers. Just don’t expect extreme gratefulness from the parental set if you gift it to their toddler. I was more than happy when it came time to return this one to the library, though I'm sure we'll be borrowing it again if Boo lays eyes on it at a future visit.
Autism Spectrum Bonus: There's not much more than what's appealing to most toddlers. The quick rhythms and rhymes may appeal to kids who crave extra auditory stimulation, and as the story is mostly nonsense, it should be just as entertaining to those who may be behind in communication as it is those who are not. Though I must admit, now that Boo's verbal communication is stronger and he's displaying significant echolalia, I'm kinda dreading the next time we take this out from the library.
Chicky Chicky Chook Chook, toddler fun!
Chicky Chicky Chook Chook, Mommy's done!