CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 32. . . April 28, 2017
These two books are based on episodes of the animated Kids' CBC TV show Chirp, created by J. J. Johnson and inspired by Chirp Magazine.
The series invites young readers into the imaginative world of three loveable birds, Chirp, Squawk, and Tweet, who enjoy going on a number of different adventures together. Each experience involves them working as a team to solve problems as they engage in imaginative play.
In Volcano Escape, they become mountain climbers.
The plucky trio find tools in their backpack, in this case bouncy metal springs, to help them escape what turns out to be a spewing volcano. Getting to safety is a group effort, and cooperation is key to saving Squawk who is in trouble.
In Foiled Again, the threesome engage in a top secret mission “to shut down a secret evil robot factory!” Comically dressed as secret agents, decked out with sunglasses and dark suits and accompanied by their secret agent briefcase, they manage to infiltrate the factory and creatively use tinfoil to dupe the Robots and shut down the factory. Once again, friendship and teamwork save the day.
The series follows a specific pattern and is written with humour, plentiful bold-lettered sound effects, and clever problem-solving techniques. The primary themes in all episodes are imagination and adventure, with a subtle lesson in collaboration for early readers. Children will see how Chirp and friends very cleverly use their wits and resources to get them out of troublesome exploits as they explore their environment. The brightly coloured comic drawings suit the whimsical storylines.
Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.
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