Little Banty Chicken is a tale about the importance of dreams and how sharing them helps them come true. Written in the style of a traditional fairy tale, it tells the story of a chicken who, on the moon’s advice, tells his dream to his friends. Each friend encourages him to move towards his dream and contributes to its realisation at the end the story.
Little Banty Chicken and the Big Dream is written by Linea Gillen, a teacher and counsellor for over 30 years and delicately illustrated by Kristina Swanson.
The story is both engaging and inspiring but I found the talking points and activities at the end really captured my children’s imaginations. The key question is “What is your dream?” a question that young children may need to think about for some time.
My-7-year-old knew immediately what her dream was but in a very deflated manner said,
” I don’t think anyone will be able to help me make my dream come true.”
“Why not?” I asked.
“Well, I want to stop all the animals from becoming extinct and I don’t think anyone can make that happen”.
This particular dream began after we read an article about the danger of large carnivores becoming extinct in the next 25 years. She often asks how we will be able to stop people killing animals. This is a big dream indeed and doesn’t have a simple solution.
We talked about how this is the kind of dream that can’t be achieved on your own. Asking other people to help could be a way forward.
“But who could I ask? I don’t think anyone will know.”
“Well perhaps not now, but as you get older you will be able to find people who know how to help and work together.”
“You mean like a scientist?”
“Exactly, or groups of people who work together to help it to stop”.
Real, face-to-face communication is necessary for developing essential life skills such as empathy, conflict resolution, problem solving, and more. And when problems arise – when life hurts us – we need real world communities for support. Many adults see asking for help as a weakness and find it hard to delegate. These skills are an important part of children’s social and emotional learning. ‘Little Banty Chicken and the Big Dream’ is a perfect way to introduce these concepts to young children.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.