When I first came across Chicken and Cat in 2006, I was immediately smitten. It’s a wordless picture book, so you can bet the artwork is expressive, clean, clear, and enticing. It reminds me of a comic book with its googly-eyed characters, playful use of color and contrast, and occasional 2 or 4 panel page layout.
Chicken comes to Brooklyn to visit Cat. The urban environment both displeases and delights Chicken: there are rats and roaches creeping around overflowing trash bins, but fun excursions to a pleasant city park and Coney Island make up for it. Together, Chicken and Cat bring a bit of color and life to their gray neighborhood by planting a beautiful flower garden. Whether riding bikes, sunbathing, riding the subway, or enjoying quiet moments on a boat, it’s clear that these two really enjoy each other’s company—it’s a lovely friendship to behold.
Slow Down and Observe
Though recommended for ages 4-8, this very appealing book is sure to please an even bigger audience, from young children to adults. Because it is wordless, one must really focus on the art on each page; children often do this with picture books, but many adults don’t take as much time poring over the details. This act runs parallel with the storyline, which is about viewing the one’s immediate environment with curiosity and wonder, and thinking of ways to contribute to its vitality.
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Karen Choy is the Youth Services Librarian in Half Moon Bay. She loves comics and Coney Island.