Tough Chicks



Feisty chicks assert their independence in sweet tale.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Chicks wrestle with worms, race bugs, and get into all sorts of harmless mischief as they strut around the farm showing that girls can be tough, and "good," at the same time.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the book teaches a great lesson about tough-minded independence, especially among girls who break out of the frilly, girly mold.

Kids say

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What's the story?

As soon as the 3 girl chicks are born, they are full of energy, independence, and adventure. The other chickens, the pig, and even the farmer, don't appreciate their antics and constantly tell Mama Hen to make her girls be "good." Mama Hen, however, stands by her "tough chicks" and, in the end, her belief in them pays off for everyone in the farmyard.

Is it any good?


Besides having an irresistible title, this is an entertaining, upbeat story with an important message, both for kids and the parents who raise them. The girl chicks, and their mama, believe in themselves and each other, and though they get along with the other farmyard animals, they don't cave into criticism that may have forced weaker characters to conform.

It's also a story that is fun, and plainly told. The text is simple but includes enough dialogue and description to keep the tale moving while getting its point across. And, kids will like the colorful cartoon-like artwork that supplements the language with playfully energetic illustrations. Rounded and yellow, with little red feet that never stop moving and spiky little tufts of feathers, Polly, Molly, and Penny are three chicks who will definitely leave their mark on the world.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the things the 3 little chicks do while the other chicks are preening in the sun and pecking quietly. Which sounds like more fun? How do the other chickens react? Why do they tell Mama Hen to make her daughters be "good"? What do you think they meant by that? What happened when they tried to act like the other chicks in the farmyard? Can Penny, Polly, and Molly be "tough" and "good" at the same time?

Book details

Author:Cece Meng
Illustrator:Melissa Suber
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Clarion Books
Publication date:February 16, 2009
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bywhitneyesson December 2, 2012

Be Yourself!

This is a great story for kids! It teaches the great lesson that it is O.K. to be different; to be yourself!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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