by Avirama Golan
Raaya Karas, illustrator
Annette Appel, translator
Eerdmans Books for Young Reader
Back Cover: Little Naomi jumps out of bed. / She gets ready for the day ahead. / She brushes her teeth and washes her face, / eats breakfast and makes sure her schoolbag’s in place. / She gives Little Bear a hug. / She kisses Mommy and gives Daddy’ hand a tug. / Little Naomi is ready to go! Off to preschool, with Daddy in tow. / But not Little Chick. (also the opening)
As Little Naomi gets ready for her day, so does Little Chick. Little Chick may not hop out of a bed, or grab a schoolbag, but he does start his morning off with his mommy getting him up. I like the story because as Little Naomi’s day progresses, so does Little Chick’s day, and amazingly the days are similar in many ways. Little Naomi goes to school and, together with her two friends, she plays. Little Chick also has two friends and the three play together throughout the day. Their days have a fundamental sameness, yet at the end of every verse is this last line:
“But not Little Chick.”
This is not necessarily true. Little Chick’s day may not be as scheduled as Little Naomi’s, nor does he leave his home and go to school for part of his day, as does Little Naomi, but Little Chick does have similar basic activities in his day that are equivalent to Little Naomi’s. He wakes up, washes up, and finds his friends so they may play. He eats lunch, learns new skills, and makes messes. When night approaches, Little Chick takes a bath assisted by a parent, tucks in, and falls asleep. There will always be differences between species, as there are between intraspecific, so I say,
And yes Little Chick.
Little Chick does build a tower, just like Little Naomi, only his is a tower of friends, while Little Naomi’s is a tower of plastic blocks. She makes mud pies and Little Chick makes a mud prints after walking into a puddle of mud made by a dripping outdoor spout. Little Naomi enjoys her lunch and Little Chick must learn to find his, and he does. As the day goes on, Little Naomi’s and Little Chick’s days are not very different, only different. Huh? Little Naomi’s day is filled with more activities, yet some of those activities are the same ones Little Chick has. These are the common details each of us, and most every animal, must do. We all wake up, eat, play, work, eat again, wash up, experience love—hopefully—and return to bed as night falls.
I like the rhyming poems on Little Naomi’s side of the spread. Below each verse are Little Naomi’s illustrations showing a big smile on a decidedly happy child. Even more, I love the illustrations of Little Chick’s day, without one word of description to clue us in, we understand. Little Chick’s actions and the facial expressions of the animals around him let us know he is having fun, is determined, and at times in trouble. The ending is sweet on both sides of the spread and as much as the author continues to repeat,
“But not Little Chick,”
I continue to believe she is wrong. Even the end papers illustrate the sameness between Little Naomi and Little Chick. As Little Naomi bends backward, so does Little Chick—or at least he attempts the bend. When one raises an arm—or a wing—so does the other. The two are like kindred spirits as they approach each day.
I think Little Kids and their Big Parents will enjoy Little Naomi, Little Chick for both sides of this adorable story about one cute, preschooler and her equally cute and young chick counterpart. I would prefer to be Little Chick and enjoy his funny day, but young girls will love believing themselves to be Little Naomi, comparing her day to the young character’s day. Little kids will love to laugh at Little Chick and his antics. Little Naomi, Little Chick is the best a book can offer: the chance to see yourself as the protagonist and an emotional experience one can enjoy.
Annette Appel, translator
Released September 2013
Age 3 to 6
LITTLE NAOMI, LITTLE CHICK. Text copyright © 2012 by Avirama Golan. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Raaya Karas. Translation copyright © 2012 by Annette Appel. Reproduced y permission of publisher, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids MI.