Chicky Chicky Chook Chook (Hardcover) by Cathy MacLennan. Boxer Books, 2007. ISBN: 9781905417407. pp: 32.
Ages: 4-8, gr: preschool-2



This book is about chicks, kitties, and bees who make their sounds in the sunshine, and then it is nap time, soon after that it starts to rain and storm. Then the chicks, kitties, and bees are wet and sloppy and how will they ever get dry? Lucky them — the sun comes out to warm them again.


  1. Read Aloud: The teacher first reads the book aloud to students. Then the teacher goes back, page by page, reading the page to the students and having them repeat it back as a group. Make sure to use a lot of expression and excitement; this type of story allows students to explore sounds, enunciation, and fun in an unusual book about three kinds of animals.

  2. Sing aloud: The teacher determines a melody and models how the students can sing the words as a lyric. Try a combination of a simple up-and-down scale alternating with a rap style. Students then join in. Once they have gone through singing the book once or twice, the students can make up different actions to go along with the words and things that the animals are doing throughout the book.

  3. Find pictures of Adrican art. Compare the pictures with those in the book. Look for similarities since MacLennan got inspiration from African arts. Example: Bingham, J. (2004). African art and culture. Raintree (paperback, 2005). text for grades 5-9

  4. Chicky Chicky Chook Chook begins with a two-page spread introducing each of the three animals. Choose another animal and put together two verses to make another two-page apread of sounds that could be added.

  5. Class activity: Put students into groups and repeat the book with the students reading their parts aloud in choral reading.
    Voice 1: chicks
    Voice 2: bees
    Voice 3: kittens
    Voice 4: weather
    Voice 5: sleepy
    All groups read the words in capital letters. For the last page, the teacher reads the question and all the students read the response.

  6. Read other books about the animals found in the story. What did you learn that you did not know before? What else would you like to know? To the teacher: can use as promt for Free Response Journal.

  7. Pick one of the animals (chicken, bee, cat) that you have read more about. Make a picture using torn-paper to illustrate something you learned from reading more about that animal.

  8. Are you ready for some chicken jokes? Make up some of your own.

  9. Cathy MacLennan was born in Zimbabwe.
    • Find Africa on the globe. Find Zimbabwe on a map of Africa.
    • Read about Zimbabwe. Look for ways where living in Zimbabwe gave her ideas for the book. Recommended: Gugu’s House (Hardcover) by Catherine Stock. Clarion Books, 2001. ISBN: 9780618003891. pp: 32. Ages: 6-8, gr: k-2, also a good read-aloud.
      To the teacher: Although no longer in print, you may be able to find A Picture History of Zimbabwe by Linos G. Mushambi, Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1982. At the end of this book, there are some activities for elementary school students to complete to better help their understanding. Take into consideration the changes in Zimbabwe since this book was written.

About the Author

More for the teacher

  1. Use nonfiction books about chickens, kittens and bees to help children identify more with what the animals are actually doing in the story, where they come from, where they can be found/ habitats, eating habits, behavior habits, etc. Suggested books:
    • Patchett, F. (2007). Eggs and chicks (Beginners Nature, Level 1). Usborne Books. grades preschool-k
    • Dawson, R. (2000). Bees (Oxford Reds). Oxford University Press. grades 1-2
    • Gibbons, G. (hardcover, 1996). Cats. Holiday House. (paperback, 1998). grades k-3

  2. Use Chicky Chicky Chook Chook to introduce a unit of study. Online units include:


Other related books: