Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen Children's Books)

Chicken Clicking

Written by Jeanne Willis

Illustrated by Tony Ross

Published by Andersen Press

It's happy publication day to a book that actually made us feel a little guilty for giggling at it so much. "Chicken Clicking" is a bang-up-to-date children's story that will definitely make you laugh, but has a fairly serious message at its heart.

Little chick has a secret. Late at night, when everyone else is asleep, she steals into the farmhouse, hops up on the desk, purloins the farmer's laptop and gets busy on the internet.

At first, chick is quite happy purchasing lots of goodies from online shops (and we hooted with laughter at the things she buys) but soon Chicken Clicking realises that she might actually be able to find a friend through the magic of internet chat sites.

Here's where the moral message comes in about being extremely careful on the internet, because Chick starts talking to a stranger and arranges to meet them.

They are definitely not what they seem online, and the very last page of the book is such a shocker and packs a real punch (particularly when Charlotte quickly flicked over the page to find out what happens, and met with a lovely yellow end-paper instead).

We've often described Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross as a dream team, and they truly are. Though this book's ending is quite jarring it really does have impact, and that's the intention. As a way of introducing your children to the joys (and perils) of the internet, it's an absolute belter and we truly did have many a giggle (particularly at the Farmer's Wife roaring around on an internet-bought motorbike, with a look of abject glee on her face and chick clinging to her saddle for dear life!)

I asked Charlotte what she would buy from the internet if we let her loose on it. She said "All the Monster High stuff and even more books". (Note to self, change all your passwords and lock things down!)

"Chicken Clicking" by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross is available today from Andersen Press (good luck finding a copy, it's going to sell like hot cakes!)

Charlotte's best bit: Little Chick's bling-tastic diamond watch. Snazzy!

Daddy's Favourite bit: Brill, Brill, Brill, Brill, Brill, Brill, Brill. Deliciously darkly tinged, funny but with a serious message at its heart. Jeanne and Tony truly are living legends in children's literature and this is a prime example of why their books are so well loved.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Andersen Press)

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