Peachtree Book Tour
by Jackie Mims Hopkins
Henry Cole, illustrator
Inside Jacket: Out on the grasslands where bison roam, Mary McBlicken the prairie chicken is scritch-scratchin’ for her breakfast, when all of a sudden she hears a rumblin’ and a grumblin’ and a tumblin’.
“Stampede’s a comin’!” Mary squawks.
She sets off to warn Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan, gathering up her friends along the way. But before they can get to the ranch, the band of prairie critters is waylaid by Slim Brody the sly coyote.
The rumbling’s getting louder. Will they escape in time?
Mary McBlicken is trying to mustard up some breakfast when she hears a loud “rumblin’ and a grumblin’ and a tumblin’.” Sure it is a stampede, Mary runs off to the ranch to tell Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan. On the way, she runs into Jeffrey Snog prairie dog, Beau Grabbit jackrabbit, and June Spark Meadowlark. Each are easily convinced a stampede is on its way so together the four friends head off to the ranch.
Dum da dum dum. Slim Brody sly coyote appears assuring the friends that he knows a shortcut to the ranch. They believe him and follow Slim Brody across the plain, through a pass and a bend right to the sly coyote’s den. With their backs to the proverbial wall, the four critters make a mad ruckus, Jeffrey Snog the prairie dog bites that coyote’s ear and June Spark attaches her long beak onto Slim’s snout. Soon, all the ruckus gets the attention of Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan. They race over and cut Slim Brody the not-so-sly coyote’s shortcut short. Still, what is the rumblin’ and where is the grumblin’ coming from and what will the group do about the tumblin’.
Prairie Chicken Little is a fast paced story that will entertain for a long time. Poor Mary McBlicken hears and feels those terrible rumblin’, grumblin’, and tumblin’ and is sure something bad is happening. At each friend, she says the same line and they asked the same question. This repetition is great for kids learning how to read. They will notice the theme of the story faster and find more enjoyment. This will probably mean multiple reading requests, yet is still a good thing.
The illustrations are full-body expressive. The eyes of Mary McBlicken pop out when fear strikes her. Jeffry Snog’s sleepy expression quickly turns to concern from his ears to his hands. Beau Grabbit and June Spark have similar transformations before all run off as if in a fifty-yard dash. Even the bison have a new look when they over hear Mary, but it may not be one of concern. There are many opportunities for parents to change inflections for a bout of infectious laughter from their little ones.
Jackie Mims Hopkins has written several retellings of popular tales, all with fun twists, and Prairie Chicken Little is no exception. Here is a book for your library that will not be ignored after its first read. Just like Mary McBlicken and her critter friends, kids will stampede toward this colorfully imaginative picture book.
by Jackie Mims Hopkins website Henry Cole, illustrator website Peachtree Publishers website blog Released March 2013 ISBN: 978-1-56145-694-9 32 pages Ages 4 to 8 Copyright © 2013 by Peachtree Publishers, used with permission Text: copyright © 2013 by Jackie Mims Hopkins Illustrations: copyright © 2013 by Henry Cole
DONATED TO LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY