Chick and Chickie Play All Day! HC
Publisher: Toon Books
Release Date: February 2012
Price: $12.95
Creator: Claude Ponti
Format: 32 pgs.; 9" x 6"; Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-9351-7914-6
Age Rating: Suggested for grades K-1
ICv2 Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

This short book consists of two very short stories.  The first is a tale of crafts, as the two characters create masks to scare each other.  The story is cute, but the best part may go over the heads of beginning readers, as there is a subtle visual punch line.  The second story reads like Sesame Street as done by a surrealist, as the two characters figure out what they can do TO the letter A, in order to elicit variations on the sound "ah."  This includes throwing the A, frightening it with sharp objects, tickling it mercilessly and so on.  This may have been fun for Chick and Chickie, but the very anthropomorphic letter is not at all happy with the proceedings.

Anyone helping a child to read this book might want to guide the child away from trying these things with dolls, pets or baby siblings.  Such experiments might result in interesting vowel sounds, but not in a good way.

The book does have several good points, including the friendship between Chick and Chickie, their creativity and enthusiasm.  The artwork is cute, and even the torments of the letter A are well drawn and clever.  Just don't try those at home…

--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.