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WHAT’S THE MAGIC WORD? by Kelly DiPucchio


by Kelly DiPucchio & illustrated by Marsha Winborn

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-000578-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

Most pre-readers know the answer to that one—and they’d better, to make sense of this breezy (in several senses) but confusing effort. A sudden wind carries newly hatched Little Chick off to a cow’s stall, where his request for shelter is met with a counter-request for the Magic Word. No sooner does he learn that it’s not “Peep-peep” but “Moo-moo,” than that wind sweeps him away to a beehive—where the Word’s not “Moo-moo” but “Buzz-buzz.” And so on, past hound (“Bow-wow”), owl (“Hoo-hoo”) and pig (“Oink-oink”), until Little Chick fetches up back at the nest, where his mother informs him that the Magic Word is none of the above—it’s “Please.” Advocates of an English-only curriculum, take note. Little Chick and his mom look like ruffled, diminutive cousins of Big Bird in Winborn’s simple farmyard scenes, but there the resemblance to Sesame Street’s multicultural viewpoint ends. (Picture book. 5-7)