Busy-Busy Little Chick

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Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Contributors: Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)
ISBN13: 978-0374347468


Ideal for Easter and springtime, an exuberantly illustrated picture book by an award-winning writer and a New York Times bestselling artist!

Little Chick's mother is all cluck and no action. Mama knows her old nest isn't the cozy home she and her brood need. But whenever she vows to start building a new house, she's distracted―by sweety-meaty worms, crunchy-munchy crickets, or picky-pecky corn. Luckily, her Little Chick is an industrious sort. While the rest of his family are stuffing themselves silly, he's quietly working, bit by bit, day by day.

Janice N. Harrington's retelling of a little-known Central African story is perfectly matched with Brian Pinkney's jazzy depiction of a can-do little critter.


“Based on a Central African fable, 'The Hen's House,' this story has strong roots in the oral tradition. 'Chilly-cold' chicks complain with little peo-peo-peos, and Mama Nsoso steps with a cwa-cwa-cwa and clucks pruck! pruck! Every night Mama tells her chicks they'll build an ilombe, a new house, the next day. But while she gets distracted by tasty worms and crickets (Mama is the first little pig), Busy-Busy Chick works. Pinkney's animated chickens, scurrying and fluttering in great swaths of marigold and orange, impart abundant joy.”
―The New York Times Book Review

“Harrington's (Roberto Walks Home) storytelling background and careful investigation of African sources can be seen in the multitude of sound words and Lonkundo vocabulary she includes. Watching Little Chick succeed where his parent has stumbled will thrill young readers.”
―Publishers Weekly

“Well-told and beautifully illustrated.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A good addition to units on fables, farm animals, or African culture, and an enjoyable story in general.”
School Library Journal

“Former children's librarian Harrington knows how to tell a story, and she uses repetitive elements and refrains to keep children engaged and participating. Pinkney here moves away from his usual structured scratchboard illustrations to create free and energetic watercolors in bright yellow, orange, and red, capturing a feeling of motion with his loose black lines.”
The Horn Book

“Pinkney provides impressionistic swirls of color that bleed out of the figures of Mama Nsoso and her baby chicks, washing into backgrounds and giving a toasty warmth, as well as a mystical timelessness, to the story that will invite kids to browse through it independently.”

“Utterly charming.”