Generally, I’m against children’s books written by celebrities, but when I saw Chicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black I knew it would be one of the few exceptions (as are the picture books of John Lithgow and Jamie Lee Curtis).
At the beginning of Chicken Cheeks, we meet a friendly bear standing on a stepladder, longing for something unseen at the top of a tall tree. Bear then notices a duck next to him and puts the duck on his head, making him that much taller.
So far, the only words in the story are “Duck tail.” The book continues in the same vain, each spread featuring a different animal being added to the stack, and their respective buttocks. The stacked menagerie continues until we see the coveted honeybee hive. Will the bear get his honey? Read it and see.
Kevin Hawkes provides Chicken Cheek’s fabulously silly illustrations. The harmony of his pictures and Black’s text make it hard to believe that this is a collaborative effort. I loved Chicken Cheeks before I opened it. How can you not love a book whose main purpose is the alliterative and/or rhymed naming of animal backsides? The plotline is just a bonus.