Little Chick and Mommy Cat by Marta Zafrilla, illustrated by Nora Hilb
Little Chick has been raised by Mommy Cat since she was still in an egg. When Little Chick was very small, he thought that he was a cat too. He tried to be a cat, but it didn’t work. He couldn’t meow, or lick his paws or flick his tail. His mother explained to him that he was not a cat, but a chick and his real mother was a hen. When the two of them would go out, others would stare at them because they were different. His mother told him that it’s not bad to be different, what is bad is to want to be like everyone else. His mother also made sure to give him time to be with other chicks by taking him to the Bird School so he could learn everything he needed to about being a chicken. The other chicks asked him all sorts of questions because his mother was so different from the others. Little Chick though is happy to be part of his different but very loving family.
This picture book speaks directly to the issues of diversity and different types of families. It will also be happily embraced by families who have adopted children, because it manages to explain clearly and with no hesitation the basic love and acceptance of diversity in adoptive families. Small children will respond to the animal characters but easily also draw connections to themselves.
Zafrilla’s text is straight forward, tackling larger issues and bringing them to a level that small children will easily understand. She builds an unlikely family and happily shows the love and attachment between a cat and a chick. This is a book that is unlikely to be read as a straight animal story, because the connection to adoption is so clear. That said, the clarity and honesty here is what makes it shine.
Hilb’s illustrations add a colorful touch to the story. The colored pencil illustrations use delicate lines and soft colors to tell the story. The feathers and fur beg to be petted with their textures. Hilb maintains the size difference throughout the story, further emphasizing the differences between the cat and her chick.
This picture book focuses on diversity, love and the many forms it can come in. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Independent Publishers Group.