Andersen books always have a slight edge to them and this one is no exception. Here, Jeanne Willis introduces us to Chick, an adorable hatchling with a penchant for internet shopping and nocturnal break-ins. The narrative is rhyming and humorous, which is bound to cause a stir amongst listeners as Chick gets carried away ordering ridiculous items from the farmer’s account, much to the farmer’s wife’s horror. As the story unfolds, Chick gets more risky in her maneuvers, resulting in a blind date with a fox. The final page reveals a snarling character with dishonorable intentions and the reader is left wondering what happens to Chick? (An unusual ending for a picturebook.)
Hand-executed in what looks to be charcoal pencil and pastels, Chicken Clicking is a departure for Tony Ross. Whilst maintaining some of his characteristic humour and movement, the pictures have a softness to them which we wouldn’t normally associate with Ross’s style. Younger children will definitely find these pictures very funny and appealing.
Whilst this picturebook is for younger readers, it has a message that an older audience will appreciate as it’s a great introduction to the pros and pitfalls of internet usage and safety. Any adult interacting with young children should definitely get hold of Chicken Clicking.