Tough Chicks by Cece Meng, illustrated by Melissa Suber
Rating: 5 stars
I am thrilled that my youngest son adores a book about tough chicks. The fact that one of those tough chicks holds a cool tool on the cover helps a little, I admit. This is certainly a book about female empowerment. It's without a doubt a book encouraging girls to be girls. And before all that, it's simply a fun book to read with any child.
So. Mama Hen hatched three tough chicks. Penny, Polly, and Molly zip, zap, zoom, cheep around the farm looking for fun. They always find it, though fun is often sprinkled with a little bit of danger or trouble or both. All the animals tell Mama Hen: "Make them be good!" She patiently nods her head, insisting that they are good. And they are smart. Her tough chicks are...also a little mischievous.
Penny, Polly, and Molly can't seem to stay out from under the hood of Farmer Fred's tractor. With a stern look, he instructs them: "You are fuzzy-headed chicks. Be cute. Be quiet. Be good. And stay away from my tractor. I have hay to move before the rain comes."
But it turns out that the farmer and the tractor can't get along either, and the farmer gets to the top of a hill with his tractor, which soon sputters and dies on him. Frustrated, he gives it a kick...and sends it flying down the hill, straight towards all the animals! The tough chicks think fast. They use the cow's tail to swing on to the tractor and steer it away from the henhouse but into a puddle of mud. Mama Hen encourages them to use their tough, smart brains to get out.
They scratch a plan on the side of the tractor and enlist the animals' help in getting the tractor out. While their farmyard friends heave and ho, they get under the hood of the tractor once again. They get busy (and get dirty) tightening belts, checking fluids, and patching holes. They get the tractor out of the mud and working again.
In short, every animal--and Farmer Fred, too--realize how great it is to have tough and smart chicks around.
Do I really need to say how right a realization that is? This is a great new picture book to sprinkle in a little moxie over your kids...regardless of their gender.