Chick O’Saurus Rex, by the writer Lenore Jennewein and illustrated by Daniel Jennewein, is a modern take on a well known problem. For the record, this is not Chicken Little retold for a new generation. This is a story about understanding one’s family history with an underlying theme of bullying thrown in for good measure.
Little Chick is not a bird who desires magnificent things. He does not want riches to be financially stable for the rest of his life. There is no need for fancy cars or a significant other who looks like a clone of George Clooney or Angelina Jolie. All Little Chick wants is to play in the tree house located on the farm where he lives.
There is just one small problem. A group of bullies stand guard at the entrance, only allowing those whose families are both strong and brave to enter. Since all animals are named Little followed by the name of the animal, the concept is not entirely unreasonable.
Without belaboring the point of what it means to stand up for oneself, the authors cleverly intertwine the stories of knowing who the reader is as a person and how relatives, even those distant, can be an influence on someone’s behavior.
A typical children’s book, the design is quick to catch the eye of a future reader. However, it is also set up so as to let an adult enjoy pleasure
fulfillment by reading together with said child. The story is simple enough to follow along without having to explain things on a consistent basis.
Some scientific lessons are also included. Considering the readers are children, some adjustments must be made. Little Chick gets to see an album of various family members with different interests throughout time. One of these deals with studying bones and how they form the basis for a body.
All in all, children will enjoy this book. Life lessons are shown without overwhelming them or insulting their intelligence. More information about the Jenneweins and what they have created for children can be found here and here.