A Little Chicken (+ giveaway)

Today, A Little Chicken, written by yours truly and illustrated by Dan Taylor officially flies the coop!

Dot is the star of A Little Chicken. The first sentence tells the reader a lot about Dot.

This is what Kirkus had to say about A Little Chicken:

“The effortless prose rises above, as it is concise, well-timed, and entertaining. Quick and airy, with some wordplay and a joking tone, this lighthearted selection…will encourage readers to meet their fears head on by showing that, after all, “sometimes a big hero…/…is just a little chicken.”

A gently humorous take on conquering fear that’s also a fine read-aloud.”

Nice, huh?

Dan Taylor was kind enough to stop by Picture Book Builders and chat a bit about this book.

Welcome, Dan! What drew you to illustrate A Little Chicken? Were you worried I’d litter your yard with questionable lawn ornaments if you said no?

Hi, Tammi! I think I was drawn to illustrate ALC because it’s a fun text! Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to illustrate a book about chickens before. Btw, you mean that wasn’t you who left that creepy gnome on my doorstep!?


The art in our previous book, But the Bear Came Back, has a more subdued and retro feel. (For examples, please visit my previous interview with Dan.)

The art in A Little Chicken, however, is bright and splashy. What made you choose this particular approach for Dot’s story?

I think ALC is much bouncier in tone than BTBCB. I must have subconsciously made the art brighter?!

Take us behind the scenes. Please share a little about your process (character development, examples of roughs, cover designs).

I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of development work saved for this project. I was running out of space on my HD and had to be a bit ruthless with files! I do have some character sketches – some different versions of Dot before I settled on the final awkward flappy character we see in the finished book. 

Early Cover Sketch
Early Cover Sketch
Early Cover Sketch

The last time you visited, you reminded us to enjoy some downtime. Valuable advice! Do you have another tip for us creative types?

Well, one thing I’m trying to apply to myself is to take at least some time in the week to experiment. I feel like I would like to have more texture and movement in my work, so I’m planning on setting aside an afternoon a week to play about with paint and develop my style a bit. Sometimes when you have projects back to back it’s hard to find the time to try new ways of working. So that’s my suggestion. If you feel things are getting a bit stale with your work process, make sure you give yourself time for self development and to try new things.

Scoop time! What’s next for you?

I have just finished a book for Egmont in the UK, I have a novelty puppet book for Auzou in Paris and then another picturebook for Simon & Schuster UK!

Congratulations, Dan! Thanks so much visiting Picture Book Builders.


Dan Taylor is a children’s book illustrator from the UK. Born in Staffordshire, Dan had a love of drawing from young age and later went on to study art and illustration, graduating with a degree in visual communication. Since then, he has illustrated a variety of books for young readers, and works using a combination of digital drawing and hand painted textures that are scanned into photoshop.

Dan is represented by The Bright Agency.



For a chance to win a copy of A Little Chicken, please leave a comment and/or share this post on Twitter. Be sure to include @SauerTammi in your tweet.


David McMullin won a copy of Wordy Birdy Meets Mr. Cougarpants!

Mindy Reid won this original art by illustrator Dave Mottram!

Tammi Sauer

Tammi Sauer, a former teacher and library media specialist, is a full-time children's book author who presents at schools and conferences across the country. She has more than 30 published picture books and has many others on the way. Her books have received awards, earned starred reviews, made lists, been made into musicals, and been translated into many different languages. Most importantly, kids really like her books! To learn more about Tammi and her books, please visit tammisauer.com and follow her on Twitter at @SauerTammi.


  1. You just want to hug Dot and make her fears go away. Children will definitely relate to her!

  2. Kim Pfennigwerth

    Loved the story and the art in But The Bear Came Back — can’t wait to see how A Little Chicken comes to life in both Tammi’s fun wordplay and Dan’s art!

  3. I, too, am scared of garden gnomes! This book would be most therapeutic!

  4. I’m in love with Dot already and rooting for her to overcome her fears. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What fun books — can’t wait to add them to my collection! Thanks for sharing the creativity!

  6. Congratulations on your new book. Dot looks like a wonderful character! And the art pulls you in immediately. Definitely want to get my hands on this. Thanks!

  7. This book will make a read-aloud where I get to do my squawk-squawk chicken voice!

  8. Danielle Hammelef

    I love the expressions on Dot’s face and her body language. I’m looking forward to reading this book. It’s definitely a fun read out loud choice.

  9. Wow, this looks fantastic Tammi! So adorable, yet addresses such and important issue for children. Well done!

  10. Kathy Mazurowski

    There’s a little, Little Chicken in all of us. Thanks

  11. Cannot wait! Love your wordplay, Tammi, and the illustrations, Dan, are so bright and energetic!

  12. Looks like another stellar story with adorable illustrations from this dynamic duo! Congrats, Tammi and Dan. Can’t wait to check it out!

  13. Love the energy Dan pours into Dot’s body language! She’s a nugget of delight!

  14. Little Dot has a big place in my heart! Love the character, the illustrations and the message. Bravo!

  15. Can’t wait for my library hold to come in!

  16. Congratulations…can’t wait to read it!

  17. Dan’s work seems perfect for your books. I look forward to seeing the whole thing. (And I’m thrilled to have won the Wordy Birdy book!!! Thank you.)

  18. It sounds like a fun story. I live the bright and colorful illustrations. Looking forward to reading it. Congratulations!

  19. What a great combination of words and illustrations telling a story of overcoming fears, something everyone struggles with. I cannot wait to read it.

  20. These illustrations are wonderful! Congrats to you both!

  21. Congrats Tammi and Dan. This book looks like so much fun!

  22. I’m loving her glasses. Where can I get a pair??

  23. A Little Chicken looks adorable! I look forward to meeting her.

  24. Really loved this book! I dig seeing all the iterations of little chicken. Cool to see all the variations and what could have been.

  25. Those garden gnomes freak me out a bit, too! Really looking forward to reading A Little Chicken!

  26. Very cute book that children can relate to for facing their fears.

  27. Another wonder of Tammi’s to add to my Tammi collection. I always feel so happy after reading one of her books. I’m sure A LITTLE CHICKEN will have the same effect on me and brings smiles to the faces of kids. Love this sweet lady!

  28. You and Dan make such a great duo, Tammi! Congratulations on the newest book!

  29. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  30. Dot is adorable! Congratulations on another wonderful book!!

  31. All of the above-mentioned work looks great–can’t wait to read ALL the books!

  32. Jennifer Rumberger

    This looks great and I loved Dan’s illustrations in But the Bear Came Back too!

  33. This looks adorable! Congrats, Tammi!

  34. Ahh I would la la LOVE to win this for our kiddos! Our chickens our like family to us 🙂

  35. This is hilarious! I love the funny illustrations and enjoyed the interview!

  36. I know this one is going to make me smile. Congrats on another winner, Tammi and Dan.

  37. I know some little chickens who will enjoy this one. I’m curious about the novelty puppet book now…

  38. Congratulations, Tammi! Can’t wait to see it!

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