Chicken Little The Real And Totally True Tale

Authored by Sam Wedelich
Illustrated by Sam Wedelich
Published by Scholastic

Chicken Little – The Real and Totally True Tale, written and illustrated by Sam Wedelich, tells the story of a ‘petite’ chicken who is not afraid of anything until, one day, something falls out of the sky, hits her on the head and leaves her quite perplexed. She decides to investigate to see if the sky is falling. Still, by casually mentioning this to a passer-by, a misunderstanding ensues, and it is not long until full scale ‘hendemonium’ breaks out in the farmyard, leaving her desperately trying to remedy the events she has unwittingly set in motion.

Chicken Little – The Real and Totally True Tale, is a clever reimagining of a classic folk tale. With her red, over-sized glasses and cowboy boots, the main character makes it very clear from the beginning that she is not little and is not scared of anything, then almost instantly, she finds herself hiding from something that has fallen from the sky. I think that young children will find this funny but at the same time reassuring: knowing that it is ok to feel scared at times. With the chickens’ empathetic actions and the clever art of distraction, order is restored, yet at the end of the story, Chicken Little is still adamant that she is not scared of anything! This would make for some lovely talking points based on determination, credulity and fear, which are all themes explored in the story.

What I love about this book is that it can be read and enjoyed with young children, but for older children, it can be a springboard into discussions based on a variety of subjects such as vocabulary (with words such as ‘predators’, ‘corral’, ‘preposterous’), other languages, folk tales, topical issues and scientific concepts, introduced by the sky itself, ‘I am a blanket of gas held by the pull of gravity. I do not fall’.

The font has been cleverly designed to reflect the way in which children often write. Most words are capitalised, some letters are joined, and there is the random addition of lower-case letters within words. Perhaps the font style is meant to represent how Chicken Little sees herself: confident and bold, but at times, ‘petite’ and unable to control what is happening around her. The illustrations and cartoon-style mirror the story’s high energy, and there is a comedic element woven through, making it just as appealing for any adult who reads it.

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