Sam Wedelich is the creator of Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale and also a cartoonist, illustrator, and designer. In this guest blog post, she shows what we can learn from Chicken Little during uncertain times. Learn more at scholastic.com/chickenlittle
In a time of global pandemic and social upheaval, it can FEEL like the sky is falling.
Some days, I feel like the hens in my book, running back and forth across the barnyard in a panicked frenzy.
So, what does a plucky Chicken in red glasses and cowgirl boots have to offer us in these turbulent times?
Here are a few takeaways from Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale, a modernized retelling of a classic folktale:
Feel it ALL.Through this book, Chicken has a wide range of emotions from bravado, to fear, to calm, to shock, to curiosity, to embarrassment, to wry humor. There’s a freedom and permission here to be our authentic selves, even when it contradicts who we think we are or should be. Sometimes we think we need to be fixed, or certain, but in reality, we are growing and changing all the time. We make mistakes, we learn, we grow. The most important part is to show up. Being authentic in our feelings can help us on this journey.
Chicken has a moment of irrational panic when she can’t figure out what hit her in the head. Could the sky be falling? But she doesn’t just assume: she investigates.
Speak your story, use a megaphone if necessary.
When a misunderstanding starts a mayhem-inducing rumor, Chicken Little tries a LOT of things to calm her feathered friends. In the end, Chicken has to use her voice loudly to drown out the fear. Then, she can use her story, leveraging her relationship, to share from her experience and, ultimately, spread calm.
Take care of one another.
When the flock shifts from fear into a place of connection and shared concern for Chicken Little, they jump right into nurturing, making sure she’s okay. This is why interrogating our fear is imperative. If our fears are based in misinformation, prejudice, or misunderstanding... they can prevent us from staying connected to our humanity and community.
This book is just funny. Laughter really is the best medicine and I’ve enjoyed reading and laughing at this book over and over again. I hope you will too!
The moral of the story is: Don’t believe everything you hear (or even everything you think!). Check your reality. Open up to other points of view. If you don’t know about something, educate yourself with reputable sources! Thankfully, the sky is NOT falling, but we still have a lot of work to do to strengthen our communities and take good care of one another.