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Cover image for Chance
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, ©2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Unhappy at home, a newborn baby packs up his blankey and other prized possessions, leaves the farm, and spends a year visiting and learning from bears, monkeys, sea lions, and other creatures.
Reading Level:
Program Information:
LG 71194. Accelerated Reader AR 3.2 0.5.

Accelerated Reader LG 3.2 0.5 71194.
Added Author:


Call Number

On Order



Being a baby is downright frustratin'. Itchy diapers. Gooky mush. Naps and baths and bedtime. Who needs 'em? Not Chance. This baby is out of here. There is a whole new world out there! Bears know how to make breakfast last all day. Sea lions don't make you wait to swim after you eat. Monkeys eat bananas, not mush. Now this is the life! Or, maybe it would be if Ma was around to give a hug. Or Pa, pluckin' on his guitar. Or even Pa's slobbery ol' dog to share naptime with . . . You know, maybe home wasn't so bad after all. This delightfully quirky tale about leaving home only to find it again will leave you with a big smile, and maybe even the urge to call your own parents.

Author Notes

Children's author Dian Curtis Regan was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 17, 1950. She graduated with honors from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1980 with a B. S. in education. She taught elementary school in Denver for two years before becoming a full-time author. Regan has written over 50 books for children, ranging from picture books to young adult novels. She also writes the Ghost Twins series. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators named her Member of the Year in 1993. Regan was inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writers' Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the Distinguished Medal of Service in Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers in 1997.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Fed up with diapers and baby food, an intrepid infant named Chance takes to the road. The baby spends time with a bear in the mountains, monkeys at the zoo, sea lions in the ocean, and animals in the desert, remembering to write Ma and Pa about these adventures. Each creature teaches Chance a new set of skills, but also makes the youngster think about home and family. As Chance's first birthday approaches, the child's homesickness grows. When Ma promises a birthday cake with peppermint sprinkles, the tot heads back to the farm. Chance narrates this whimsical tall tale in a first-person country vernacular, and the clever language reads aloud well. Done in chalk pastels and colored pencils, the double-page illustrations are the best part of the book and reflect the open vistas and rich sunny colors of the artist's native Australia. Her characters, both animal and human, are stylized, humorous, and expressive. The catchy language and bright artwork make this a good secondary purchase.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

(Primary) Chance may just be a baby, but he already walks with a swagger, rattle in one hand and blankey in the other. Chance already has strong opinions, as well. He doesn't care for the gooky mush Ma feeds him, for Pa's guitar playing, or for the dog slobbering on his rattle. ""It all made me right cranky. So I left."" Chance finds a variety of critters to live with, from a bear who teaches him to find huckleberries, to the sea lions who teach him to swim and to ""bark in complete sentences."" Chance writes home and gets letters in return, and after he extracts a promise from his Ma for no more gooky mush, he returns and gets an ecstatic welcome-home in time for his first birthday cake. The droll story is enhanced by Chance's genial cowboy-speak: ""Ma was right proud to hear her li'l Chance talkin' so well."" The chalk-pastel and colored-pencil drawings include lots of warm shades of apricot, with swirls and rounded shapes echoing the idea that Chance is out in a wide, wide world. The reader also sees Chance, his family, and the animals from amusing perspectives that add to the overall humor. This looks like a book for preschoolers, but children below age five or six may find it baffling rather than funny. School-age children will understand that the story's unreality as well as Chance's drawl amounts to so much cowboy yarnin', and a darn good yarn at that. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

A baby leaves home in search of adventure in Regan's country-tinged tale. "I was born in the middle of a marigold patch on a farm outside Rosedale," says the baby, named Chance on account of his timing. But itchy diapers, mushy food, and twice-daily baths aren't his thing. Rendered in chalk pastels and colored pencils, Huxley's full-bleed spreads picture Chance as he strides confidently into the foreground, blankie, rattle, and stuffed animal in tow. The earth curves beneath him, suggesting unlimited opportunity. In his travels Chance meets many animals each of whom offers tools for living. A bear, for example, shows him "how to find the ripest blueberries in the purest streams." Sea lions teach him to "swim and . . . bark in complete sentences." Huxley's dark palette gives these encounters a mysterious aura. But her fluid shapes and humorous touches keep the mood playful. The fact that Chance keeps in contact with his family the entire time makes it safe, too. Huxley's color scheme turns radiant, brimming with peach, yellow, and the freshest green, whenever Chance's parents are on the scene. An original for independent thinkers. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.