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Busy-Busy Little Chick

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Ideal for Easter and springtime, an exuberantly illustrated picture book by a New York Times bestselling artist!Little Chick’s mother is all cluck and no action. Mama knows her old nest isn’t the cozy home she and her brood need. But whenever she vows to start building a new house, she’s distracted—by sweety-meaty worms, crunchy-munchy crickets, or picky-pecky corn. Luckil ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Average rating 3.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  125 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Meth-heads
Recommended to Carmen by: New York Times Book Review
"Pruck! Pruck!" clucked Mama Nsoso. "We will work tomorrow. Today we will munch cricky-cracky crickets."

Mama Nsoso (a hen) and her four little chicks desperately need a new home. Their current one leaks and everyone is cold and damp at night. They can't sleep.

Every night, Mama Nsoso promises her children that she will build them a new hut (called an "ilombe") the next day. But every single day she is distracted by food that she finds: worms, crickets, etc. And every day she puts off building the
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mama Nsoso's chicks are cold, and each night she promises to build thema new house, ilombe, the next day. But that day comes, and in a very chicken like manner, Mama is distracted by food: "crunchy-munchy, sweety -meaty, big fat worms!" or "crunchy-munchy, jumpy-jumpy, cricky cracky crickets!" - yum! Little Chick is very conscientious though, gathering straw and twigs and mud to make the new house. The text is full of wonderful sounds and repetition that make this one a great read aloud. A few A ...more
Edward Sullivan
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Little Chick works hard building a new nest while mom munches away all day.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Mama Nsoso and her chicks needed a new home. They spent each night shivering and cold in their dark, damp nest. So Mama Nsoso said that tomorrow they would start work on their new home. But the first day, Mama Nsoso found worms to eat and decided to eat rather than build a house. The family shivered through another night. The next day there were crickets to eat and no work was done. Except by Little Chick who set out to gather grasses and mud to create their new home. His hard work resulted in a ...more
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book is very profound and deep in terms of the message, therefore I appreciate its huge value. It tells about the family including little chicks and their mother, who live in an old nest, where they are terribly cold, wet and generally uncomfortable. The little chicks complain that they are cold and want a new nest, which is promised by the mother every single day. However, she does nothing in thic direction, as every day passes by and she is constantly distracted by other activities and she ...more
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Busy-Busy Little Chick and his siblings want a new nest that isn't damp and cold. Every night their mother--Mama Nsoso--tells them that in the morning they will build a new ilombe (house). But every morning Mama Nsoso is distracted by crunchy-munchy worms, crickets, or corn, and she never sets to work. Little Chick, though, stays on task, and by the end of the week, he surprises his family with a beautiful, warm, dry ilombe!

This Central African folk tale reminded me of The Little Red Hen set on
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I know that this book is based on an African fable and is supposed to have a good moral in the end. To me, it just puts mothers in a bad light. There are a bunch of little chicks who complain to their mother that their house is cold and wet and draughty. She tells them each morning that they will go out and get the materials for a new house. When they start looking for materials, they see food instead. The mother tells them that they'll eat that day and look for housing materials the next day--3 ...more
Sharon Lawler
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
The pictures will drew me into the book, but when I finished the fable, I was confused by the lesson. Little chick did all the work, Mom wasn't helpful at all, and was so surprised that he had built a hose for she and the chicks. Why did she not even notice he was building a house? After reading the author's note about the origins of this fable, the Nkundo people of Central Africa which is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I think this is an example how perceptions of gender roles change ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, I'm surprised at the negative reviews of this book. It's a gem. Yes, the mother doesn't do anything--but since when have we expected mothers (and step-mothers and parents in general) to do all the work in a children's book? Instead, the little chick's industriousness is a great example to kids!

But if you're reading this for delight, for enjoyment, for great art, and not trying to read anything into it, it's a great book. This might be my favorite of Brian Pinkney's illustrations--LOVE
Cindy Dobrez
I hope Harrington continues to retell more Central African would be interesting for children to compare this story to The Grasshopper and the Ant or to Frederick by Lionni. Pinkney's art is lovely but I'm not so crazy about the cursive font used in highlight throughout the text...I think it will be hard for the intended audience to read with its extra loops and curls. The glossary is a good addition. ...more
Little chick saves the day. Every day mamma chicken takes her chicks out with the intention of building a new home. And every day mamma chicken is distracted by one thing or another and puts off nest building for another day. On all of these outings, unbeknownst to mamma (or the reader), little chick has been gathering everything they will need to build a new nest. Could work for toddler storytime, but better for preschool.
Kristine Lee
In this African tale, Mama Nsoso promises to build an ilombe for her chicks , but every morning she is distracted by good food. Little Chick goes about collecting building materials all by himself. Unlike the Little Red Hen, Little Chick does not have a sense of moral superiority at the end and Mama shows her pride. Animal sounds and a sprinkling of Lonkundo words add context to the tale. The watercolor art is less concrete, which is not my personal preference.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
If you are a story teller you might enjoy presenting this chicken story that the Nkundo people of Central Africa tell. Mama chicken promises to make a warm new house for her chicks but keeps putting it off. The happy ending of the story balances on the back of one of Mama's little chicks. This might be a fun story to adapt to a puppet show. ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
An cute story with read-aloud rhythms yet way too long. A nice change of pace for Brian Pinkney that, at times, feels derivative of other works by other illustrators. A fine effort that just didn't work for me. ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Colorful bright illustrations with bold brushstokes give this book a lot of energy. I love the language in it too: crunchy-munchy, sweety-meaty, pruck pruck. Too long for storytime but would be really enjoyable for ages 4-7 as a read aloud in a small group setting.
For the next time I'm asked for "African" picture books, this is an American interpretation of a traditional Nkundo tale. It seems at once familiar and new, reminding one of the Little Red Hen but with a twist. Includes a glossary and further resources in back. ...more
Kind of like the Grasshopper and the Ants but with chickens. I wish I had known there was a mini-glossary at the end of the book before I reached it so I could have pronounced the African words correctly.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was a very good read for students. It catches their attention because it is about animals and has VERY rich text. It also has very nice pictures in it. I was surprised that it did not win a Caldecott award yet. It is a very good read.
Sam Bloom
Feb 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2013
Not quite up to par with either of these folks' best work, but nice nonetheless. ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
The kids weren't very interested in this book, nor was I. The illustrations while creative, didn't really thrill us either. No one here would reach for it again. ...more
Loose, sweeping watercolors. Based on African Nkundo folk tale. Busy-Busy Little Chick builds the whole family a new home.
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great story and I loved the colorful illustrations.
Linda Atkinson
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I love the illustrations, but meh on the rest.
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 100, 900, 89
mama nosos nest was to cold for the baby,s so the smallest chik made the new home for theme
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very nice impressionistic watercolors for this African folktale.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great story to teach kids about how to focus on responsibility and how to take initiative.
Kelsey Yates
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, to-own
Excellent moral tale. I guess my only complaint would be that the mother was also unwise.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
If it wasn't for the moral of hard work at the end, this book would have definitely lost me. I didn't like the story nor the illustrations and found them to be rather simplistic. ...more
Kristy Isla
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nyra-2016
A cute but long story based on an African Tale. Great to use for a heritage month, but possibly too long for story time.
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Okay pretty much sums it up.
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Harrington’s writing reflects her beginnings in rural Alabama and her life in the Midwest. A former librarian and professional storyteller, Harrington now teaches creative writing in the Department of English at the University of Illinois.


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