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Do you have a love/hate relationship with bedtime? It’s a cozy time to snuggle and read a book with the kids, but it’s also when they refuse to settle down to sleep. Mom, can I sleep in your bed? Dad, can I have a glass of water? Could you fluff my pillow? Can we read one more book? Please? Five more minutes? Pretty please with sugar on top?

Ey yi yi. It’s enough to drive any mama hen wild! And it does in Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s new picture book, Chicks Run Wild.

In her Coop Sweet Coop, Mama has five chicks to put to bed. She tucks them in, gives them each a peck goodnight, but when she closes the door, they leap out of bed and cause a riotous ruckus. Feathers fly and Mama’s patience wears thin.

At first Mama scolds her chicks, but when she realizes her little ones are not ready for dreamland, she does something unexpected. Chicks Run Wild lets both parents and kids know it’s okay to break the rules every once in a while.

With a bright and cheery color palate, Ward Jenkins creates an adorable brood of five chicks with distinct personalities. One chick always has one eye opened, awaiting Mama’s departure. And there’s other fun details, like a spoof of the Beatles’ album cover Abbey Road, and Mama’s favorite read, Gone with the Wing. Sudipta’s jaunty rhyme makes you want to get up and shake your tail feathers with the family.

Bedtime is going to be a lot more fun with Chicks Run Wild. When your kids ask to read one more book, you’ll happily pick this one.

Want it? Sure you do!

Chicks Run Wild
Story by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Illustrations by Ward Jenkins
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
January 2011

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