Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Peepsqueak! by Leslie Ann Clark

peepsqueak Peepsqueak!       
written and illustrated by Leslie Ann Clark      
Harper | An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers | 2012

Poor chickens.  They can’t fly.  They can’t swim.  They can do little more than lay and hatch and peck.  But Peepsqueak has other ideas about what a young chick can accomplish.  While the other chicks are lazily hatching, Peepsqueak explodes from his shell ready to take on the world (and clothed in a t-shirt bearing his initials to boot!).  Despite the discouraging words of his fellow farm animals, Peepsqueak is determined to fly.  In the end, his dream is realized with a little help from Old Gray Goose. 

With endearing illustrations and loads of repeated text, Leslie Ann Clark introduces a character that children can easily relate to: energetic, persistent, adventurous Peepsqueak.  This book was a simple joy to read to my two-year-old, and my five-year old enjoyed it as well.  We loved the details in the illustrations (chicks in ties and headbands and glasses), the fact that the farm animals all celebrated Peepsqueak’s success (“You flew High!” “My oh my!” “Up to the sky!”), and the humorous ending (Peepsqueak was as happy as he could be!  Then he saw the pond, and he got another idea.).

Print Awareness: The text of Peepsqueak! provides many opportunities for interaction with the reader.  The repeated phrase “He was on the move!” is highlighted with colored text.  The same is true for several other words including up, down, tight, and high.  The use of uppercase letters adds emphasis to repeated words (And then he fell down, Down, DOWN into the soft green grass.), and many words and phrases are placed within the illustrations to show movement.  Grown-ups can follow the words with their finger as they read to help children see how the text and illustrations work together to tell the story.

Narrative Skills: Peepsqueak did not listen.  Because why? Children will enjoy shouting out the answer to this question throughout the book: He was on the move!  The story also lends itself well to predicting and retelling.  Children will easily grasp the pattern of Peepsqueak being told he cannot fly high, finding a good take-off spot, jumping up, Up, UP and falling down, Down, DOWN. 

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.  Peepsqueak! was borrowed from my local public library.

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