Writer’s Workshop: Chicky Chicky Chook Chook

January 6, 2010 · 60 comments

2.) Book Review! What children’s book do you hate reading to your child?






Kainoa LOVES this book….as in CRACKS up when I read it….as in MAKES me read it over and over and over again until I think my brain is going to chicky chook all over the place.

I hate this book and I’ll tell you why.

There is no story line. There are no real words. There is no real redeeming quality about this book whatsoever. Part of me loves that written word can entertain Kainoa the way it does, but a bigger part of me wonders if there’s something wrong with him.

I won’t quote the entire book (it wouldn’t take long) because I’m not sure if I’d be breaking some kind of law by doing that, but here is the gist of it:

Chicky chicky chook chook chick chick chick
Chicky chicky chook chook peck peck pick

Mushy mushy mush mush mish mish mush
Mushy mushy mush mush mish mash matter.

Dizzy dizzy wiz wiz dizz dizz wiz
Dizzy dizzy wiz wiz dizz dizz weeeeeeee.

And on. And on. And on.

I would love to write children’s books and this just baffles me. What did that author’s book proposal say?? Was she sitting at home and then suddenly think “I’ve GOT IT!!! The PERFECT book!!”

Did she sit around thinking hard about how the words should go?? “Dizzy dizzy wiz bat??….nooooo…..dizzy dizzy wackadoo??….noooo….dizzy dizzy wiz wiz?? That’s IT!!!”

And then was the publisher like “YES! We must start marketing IMMEDIATELY!!”

I just don’t get it. There are millions of children’s books. MILLIONS. If you’re going to put one out there than there needs to be something that makes it different and enticing, but this one doesn’t even speak a language.

It’s just a little frustrating to read it 30 times a day and stare at my son like, “really??? REALLY??? This is funny to you? Because I could write this….in fact why DIDN’T I write this!?!” I’m an idiot for not thinking of chooky chooky chick chick.

But Cathy Maclennon is brilliant because she  puts my son in stitches with laughter every time I read it to him because even though *I* don’t understand it…she’s definitely speaking HIS language.

New Smile.

Now it’s your turn!

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back and sign Mr. Linky. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Describe what you would change about yourself if you could.

2.) Book Review! What children’s book do you hate reading to your child?

3.) What do you predict will happen this decade? (You can be funny or serious if you like).

4.) Choose the 7th picture you took from last January and write a poem.

5.) Write about a heated argument you had with your parents (real or fictitious).

Mama Kat Loves You When You Love Her


Erin January 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I don’t have a poetic rhyming bone in my body since my boys were born and I could write something like that. YIKES!
That’s just as bad as my horrible nightmare book! “Hokey Pokey Elmo” if I ever run into that red shag monster I’ll shoot him right in the face! Think that will scare the kids? =)

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:26 am

Yeah a little bit….it will also scare the man controlling him. Might I suggest tomatoes….like they did in the old days?

Dan January 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Wait until he moves on the the Richard Scarry stuff. After reading and hearing “Baking the bread” 4,197,234 times, you’ll understand.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" January 7, 2010 at 1:42 am

I can certainly see why a kid would like that book-it makes no sense and yet it has catchy rhyming “words.” It’s definitely different. I could never write pure nonsense like this, I’m too analytical and not that creative!

Melissa B. January 7, 2010 at 2:35 am

And you know what? They grow up to be pretty good cooks, too! Ella Numera Una is home this week, and guess who’s doing dinner? When she goes back to school on Tuesday, whatever will I do? :)

Jen @ buried with children January 7, 2010 at 3:12 am

You got that one right, she is brilliant. Too bad we didn’t come up with that idea.
Why do all the good ideas have to be taken?

Los January 7, 2010 at 3:41 am

Hey, at least he’s interested in books, right? Or, at least that one … it’s a start. Green Eggs and Ham was a favorite of mine, even though I’d never, ever eat either of those.

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:31 am

Maybe it’s not the book he’s laughing at, but rather my hysterical reading skills. I may be selling myself short here.

Amanda January 7, 2010 at 3:57 am

This reminds me of a book my mom read to us when we were kids, only I think it taught you about numbers, Chicky Chicky Boom Boom or something like that……

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:32 am

Oh yeah, Maile loves that one! All the letters climb up the tree and fall back down. Not so bad.

Jennifer January 7, 2010 at 4:41 am

These are definitely the kind I don’t get too. A lot of kid’s books drive me nuts, but then I guess they aren’t written for me.

Gina January 7, 2010 at 5:16 am

Long time reader, first time participant in the workshop. Really enjoy your blog, Kat.

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:33 am

Yay!! Hopefully I’ll make it to all the participants this week! It can be a challenge. :)

ashley January 7, 2010 at 5:37 am

Reminds me of Chicka chicka boom boom.. My girls request that one all the time. Ive actually started to remember it and kinda sing it as I read it. Oh how I’ve learned to loath that book :)

Stephanie January 7, 2010 at 5:46 am

Somehow I keep missing the writing prompts early enough to actually particpate maybe next week. The Giving Tree is my favorite bokk to read to the kids (well it was they are all teenagers now)

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:34 am

Maybe I’ll start posting the writing prompts in the prompt tab in my navigation bar…that way people don’t have to go searching for it beneath other posts…

erica January 7, 2010 at 5:57 am

Why not just run around the room going “Chick!Chick! Blat! Smack!” In other words, just act natur– I mean, crazy.

Kids are so easily entertained. And I love that he wants it read over and over and over again.

Here’s an idea: Why not write a blog post in the way you would read a children’s book? That’s got to be entertaining.

Jenners January 7, 2010 at 5:59 am

You said it exactly … she knows what the little ones like and what cracks them up. Yes … it is PAINFUL for us big people. But seeing a child develop a love for reading (of any kind) is good … and having your kid laugh — also good.

I feel the same way whenever my son gets entranced by worthless movie tie-in books. I die a little inside knowing the good books out there … but whatever gets him excited about reading gets me excited.

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:36 am

Good point…let’s just hope he progresses to an actual story line.

Foursons January 7, 2010 at 6:05 am

Ummm…what is that slop he’s eating?

That book would drive me nuts, I think I’d throw it out or donate to some poor soul who needs a book.

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:36 am

Hahaha….enchilada filling!

Amethyst Moon January 7, 2010 at 6:09 am

Ok, um, really?! Yup a childrens book, for sure. Only a child could appreciate it. I say tell him to learn to read his own dang self he wants to read something like that! There that will motivate him! (just kidding)

I actually used to sing (surprise!) the books that rhymed to make them more tolerable for me(and more entertaining for them). Go ahead sing with me: ♪I like to eat them in a box, I like to eat them with a fox, on a train, in the rain♪

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:39 am

Hahaha…I love that idea. I can just hear Kainoa now, “no mommy dop it! Dop…no do dat!” He’s very particular about my behavior….he also doesn’t like it when I wear dresses, aprons, or have my hair down. I think he wants me to be a man.

Jannica January 7, 2010 at 6:33 am

Ugh, how do these things get published, and what do our children actually learn from these books? Well except a sense of humor…if it can be called that!

Charlene January 7, 2010 at 6:39 am

I wonder if the book’s whole purpose is to make you look stupid, which of course would make children laugh? I mean, it’s not everyday you hear an adult saying:

Chicky chicky chook chook chick chick chick
Chicky chicky chook chook peck peck pick

What really gets me though is that I can maybe see how chick chick chick and peck peck pick go together, and I can even see how maybe diz diz wiz and diz diz weeeee might go together, but what is up with the mish mish mush and mish mash matter. Matter? That doesn’t go with anything!!!!

You’re right though. Even though I’ve never read it or even heard of it, just that little bit has made me decide that it is a terrible book. It’s just a bunch of words. Who knew you could make money of random words (that don’t even go together).

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:44 am

Oh no, I made that up myself so as to avoid plagiarizing…it gives you the gist of what the book is like. You’re right though, most of the silly words do make sense together. It’s all about spring so chicks and pecking and fuzz and whatnot all make sense together. I think I’m just tired of reading it. NEXT Kainoa.

Lauren January 7, 2010 at 6:46 am

It must be incredibly easy to get published if you are a children’s author. I am just amazed and appalled at some of the books I’ve read. I told my mother in law years ago that she was not to give my children books without reading them first!

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:46 am

Thing is I don’t think it’s easy at ALL…unless you self publish, which comes with it’s own expenses and time commitment. This lady is ON to something…

Jessica January 7, 2010 at 6:49 am

It really is quite funny that you bring this up because I’ve wondered the same thing about books myself. And, not only books, but for instance the Snuggie…I could have thought of that damn thing! I’m nearly freezing my eyes out everytime I sit on the couch, but could I think of that idea? Nooooooo.

Granted, the difference between the Snuggie and the Chucky Chucky Upchuck book is that the Snuggie makes PERFECT sense. It’s amazing.

Lolli January 7, 2010 at 7:08 am

Hilarious. I have not read that book, but I’ve read similarly mind-numbing books. I’ve thought the same thing–how in the world did they get published?!

Lolli January 7, 2010 at 7:11 am

PS–is it just me or do those chicks looks strangely similar to creepy shrimp? It’s those googly eyes. Ick!

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:50 am

The chicks actually are creepy shrimp. And the book should really offer hope to many…if they can get published than surely any idea I have could get published.

Maybe not necessarily make much money per se….but published all the same.

Jennee January 7, 2010 at 7:14 am

I think if I ever have kids, I will read all the books to myself first before I read them to my child, and if I don’t like it, the kid will never know the book exsitsed!

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:51 am

It’s easier said than done. Sometimes you don’t realize you don’t like a book until the 200th time through it….and by then you love your kid too much to remove the book from your home.

Emmy January 7, 2010 at 7:28 am

Oh I so agree! Every time I read a book like this, I think why don’t I write books I could do a way better job than that! She probably was laughing while she wrote it thinking of all of the parents that would get stuck reading it.

June Freaking Cleaver January 7, 2010 at 7:41 am

I’m sure the Chicky book follows some long-held educational standard about repetition and how it helps children learn and remember.

Even though my children are far past the ‘read to me’ stage, I can STILL remember some of the lines from books that were their favorites.

So, yes, it does improve memory…dammit.

Oh, for a real treat, read the reviews for Chicky Chicky Chook Chook on Amazon…it got 5 stars! http://www.amazon.com/Chicky-Chook-Cathy-MacLennan/dp/1905417403

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 7:55 am

Hahaha…just read them, too funny, all of the parents who left stars talked about how they’re kids just LOVE the books…can’t argue with that!

Holly L January 7, 2010 at 8:03 am

Childrens books like that fascinate me for all the wrong reasons and of course thrill my kiddos. And the I end up making stupid noises all day long. The cover was really cute though!

Gina January 7, 2010 at 8:04 am

Logan would LOVE that book. Why, I have no idea, but he would. I, myself, have a love/hate relationship with Corduroy. He loves it, and I did too, until I read it 29060394609 times.

kiki January 7, 2010 at 8:11 am

thanks for the tip. i won’t be picking that book up. my son still loves, Llama, Llama Red Pajama. that has been his fav since he was a babe. i don’t mind it. it’s fun cuz i get to say, “Llama Drama.” take care.

Cathie January 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm

My son loves all the Llama books… Llama llama Mad at Mama and Llama llama Misses Mama along w/ Red Pajama are read in this house almost daily. He even got a llama webkinz from Santa, and the webkinz has to sit and listen w/ us every time we read the books. LOL But they are cute. I don’t mind them. Actually, I kind of like them. :)

3 Men & a Lady January 7, 2010 at 8:24 am

Have you ever read any of the books put out by the Baby Einstein Company?? My oldest LOVED anything Baby Einstein when he was infant-3. So he accumulated several BE brand books. And they ARE TERRIBLE. Good pictures but horribly uncreative writing, no alliteration, no storyline of any sort, and just plain weird. Excerpt from “What does Violet see?”:

‘Violet sees three sparrows hopping along the riverbed.
The sparrows chirp to one another in little bursts.
They shake and ruffle their brown feathers.
Violet wishes she could hold a sparrow in her hand.
Violet takes a picture.’

WTF? For toddlers?

3 Men & a Lady January 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

I forgot to add, it sounds like coffee house poetry.

Mama Kat January 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Seriously! How about “Violet brings a sparrow home and then her cat tries to get it and the sparrow chirps and Violet realizes the sparrow is safer outside in his home near the riverbed?” See I could WAY make that book better. ;)

Kathy January 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

LOL plus you paid for that irritation :o

Roxane January 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

Ugh that sounds dreadful! I was going to write about my hatred for winnie the pooh and the creatures of 100 acre woods but my boss sent me into a tizzy and I had to blog about that instead… Maybe next week i’ll go into the complexity of my relationship with pooh and his asinine friends…

Katie (aka Kekibird) January 7, 2010 at 9:41 am

It amazes me that with simple, dumb little books like this, more people aren’t authors. HELL! My almost 4 year old can write this crap and make it sound good!

Ms. Wanda January 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

The Name of this book alone says it all!!! LOL!!!

Ms. Wanda

Jeanette@Bliss January 7, 2010 at 10:38 am

Amen! There are so many books that make me decide, “Well it must be who they know cuz it sure ain’t what they know.” Yikes.

Amy January 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

ha ha! I always think to myself – Why couldn’t I come up with that! It seriously cannot be that hard to do.

Jayde January 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

What a horrid book! I am so glad my kids are grown and can read for themselves!

Melissa January 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

That is just awful. I hate it and I’ve never read it!

BOSSY January 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm

This is really cracking Bossy up! Sister mercy, it’s like the time Bossy’s dad bought a pair of flip-flops and then walked around the house pointing to his enormous feet saying, “Geesh, not much arch support.”

Sunday Stilwell January 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

That was a lot of fun…even if I had to relive my horrid poetry-writing days.

kisatrtle January 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm

my kids have so many books that I think what was the publisher thinking….I totally can relate to what you are saying. BTW I actually managed to play along this week.

Michelle January 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm

You’ve got to love the books that have somehow wormed their way into our house and small, feeble minds decide to love. I feel for you. Fortunately, I’ve never heard of that book ;)

At least your child doesn’t walk up to the librarian and demand all the “potty” books. And when asked if she’s learning to use the potty, looks at the poor woman haughtily and announces that she’s been potty trained forEVER and just likes reading about the potty.

Yeah… that’s my girl!

Megs January 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Ummmm . . . i kinda cheated. Didn’t really follow the prompt although my post DOES tell something that’s going to happen this decade!

Heather January 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I really should start reading to my children more. However, if this book is any indicator of children’s literature today then maybe I should rethink the whole reading more thing.

melissa aka equidae January 8, 2010 at 3:55 am

hiya will be doing the rounds today…yesterday had only a little time to post up my linky…ahhhh but for good reason….i went to make myself look beautiful :) am so happy with my new look will post pics soon ppl! anyway off to see the posts or i’ll carry on rambling!

Andrea January 8, 2010 at 8:41 am

Wow. I suppose could publish the children’s book I wrote in 4th grade if I wanted to. ;)

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