Perfect Picture Book Friday: Calamity Chick! by Olivier Toppin and Serge Rosenzweig

[I received a review copy of this book from the author.  No other compensation was received.]

Calamity Chick is a magical and staggeringly beautiful picture book.  It transports you to a joyous and colorful world with unique and wonderful characters.  The story is simultaneously endearing and deeply philosophical.  The images are intricately detailed and stunningly gorgeous — an abounding feast for the eyes.

Title: Calamity Chick Moves Away!

Photography:  Olivier Toppin
Art Direction:  Serge Rosenzweig
PLM-Digital, 2014, Fiction ISBN:  978-1495328480.

Suitable For Ages: Everyone!


Beginnings, New Friendship, and Attaining Your Dreams


“After a long journey, pulling his wagon through the countryside, Calamity Chick finally arrives at his new home — a little house surrounded by the beautiful colors of the countryside.”

Brief Synopsis:

Calamity Chick moves to his new house in the countryside.  While he does have a few calamities, he always prevails!  His one true dream is to fly!  Alas, he is too young and he cannot get his flying machine to work.  One night he is awoken by a strange sound.  As he goes to investigate, he makes a fantastic discovery that introduces him to a new friend, dazzling treats, and more!

Links To Resources: 

– These are all of the things my son wanted to do after being inspired by Calamity Chick. 

Calamity Chick © 2014 Olivier Toppin -- Used With Permission

Calamity Chick © 2014 Olivier Toppin — Used With Permission

Calamity Chick © 2014 Olivier Toppin -- Used With Permission

Calamity Chick © 2014 Olivier Toppin — Used With Permission

Why I Like This Book:

  • Every time my son and I read through Calamity Chick we both slow down and savor each page.  We want to look at everything!  The colors are dazzling and engulfing.
  • Calamity Chick is absolutely adorable.  It is impossible not to fall in love with this sweet little chick.
  • My son quickly identified with Calamity Chick wanting to fly.  (Don’t we all.)  He also identified with things not going his way!  I was quick to point out to my son that Calamity Chick is very resilient.
  • There are so many levels to Calamity Chick!  On one hand, it is a lively story about a cute little chick with a dream, but then there’s the new friend he makes and how he makes this friend, the calamities that he overcomes, and how his dream does come true.
  • There are deeper symbols hidden in the pages.  The more times you read through it the more you notice subtle patterns that make for an immensely satisfying book.
  • Today when we read it my son said, “Mama, I want to be in that picture!”  I absolutely understand how he feels.  He then wanted to know if we could go there.  He talked and talked about all the things he would do if he could just get inside that picture.
  • I am amazed at how skillfully it addresses some of our deepest childhood desires (flying, friendship, the desire to create things, etc.) — in an entertaining and festive way.
  • The story is sweet and simple.  It has a gentle pace that guides you through the story without rushing you.
  • You can read Calamity Chick with everyone.  It has universal appeal.
  • My whole family loves Calamity Chick and we’re looking forward to seeing what other adventures await him.

Where to Get it:

Author/Illustrator Websites:

More Reviews of this Book:

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from one of the authors. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I’m sharing this post with Perfect Picture Book Fridays over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic blog!  Her website is an incredible resource for picture book reviews and all things children’s books.  I’m always impressed with what I find on her site.  Please take a moment and check out lots of other picture book reviews.


  1. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    Thanks for putting such nice large photos in your post – they really give a flavor of the book! Seems like a great fit for kids who enjoy the “I SPY” series too.


    • I’m always thrilled when an author gives me nice large images that I can use. At first I tried to use smaller images so it wouldn’t be so “in your face,” but the smaller pictures just didn’t do this book justice. The actual book feels huge. The images are about 11″ X ~16″ so I was trying to emulate the experience with the images I used. Yes! Along the lines of the “I SPY” series — sort of “I SPY” meets following your dreams.

      Thank you so much for reading and your comment. I always love your comments and when I get a notification that you’ve commented I always think, “Ohh! It’s Cathy! What did she say?”


  2. Stacy S. Jensen

    Wow. This looks great. I remember (or seem to have a childhood memory) of some books with photographs and characters when I grew up. Looking forward to finding this one.


What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: