I’ll Be a Chicken Too

Orca. May 2023. 22p. Board $10.95. ISBN 9781459835559.
PreS-K–In the best “I’ll always love you” fashion, a parade of parents and caregivers of every skin color and age shows the transformations they will take on in the name of keeping up with the children. “If you’re a baby elephant,/ I’ll have to grow a trunk./ And if you’re striped and smelly,/ I suppose I’ll be a skunk.” The scans are imperfect but adorable: “If you’re a slippery snake,/ then I will slither smooth and low./ Or perhaps a little fish?/ Then I’ll be swimming to and fro.” There is a grandfatherly type hanging upside down in a tree, blissfully keeping his small bat charges company, while an elderly woman scampers up a tree, at home among the chimpanzees. Vanderlee’s inventive debut invites repeat readings, while the illustrations by Deas unwind in a loose cartoon style that suits the antic pacing, featuring humans and animals bounding across the pages to an exhausted but happy bedtime finish.
VERDICT Story hour attendees will quickly learn to chant along, and naming the animals will be a happy side lesson. A title with sweet promise.

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