Tuesday, June 9, 2009

read to (or about) your chick

Life is full of unexpected paradoxes, both large and small. This one is pretty small, really, but in this season of lengthening and sunny days, I cannot find a single place in my house with enough light for decent pictures of the new Chix-themed t-shirts I've been working on. Maybe it's that the sun is higher in the sky, or angled less to the south.

In any case, while I work on pictures of "read to your chick," I thought I'd instead present a short roundup of poultried picture books. Check for them at your public library (even though the links are to book info at Amazon.com).

Tillie Lays An Egg by Terry Golson and photography by Ben Fink.
Tillie's an adventurous sort of hen, and rather than wait her turn for the nesting box, she explores Little Pond Farm and leaves her daily egg in some rather unexpected places. Photographs of real hens illustrate the story. The hens who star in the book (and their author) even have a website (including a blog and a hencam!).

Louise: The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo and pictures by Harry Bliss.
Another adventurous white hen! Louise ventures even further afield, landing on a pirate ship, at the circus, and at an exotic bazaar. Like a little one who leaves the safety of Mama's circle to explore the world, Louise returns to her friends in the henhouse to tell her tales, rest, and dream of her next adventure. Louise is a 2009 E. B. White Read Aloud Award honor book, and Kate DiCamillo is the author of many wonderful chapter books, including the Mercy Watson series, Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and others.

The Chicken Sisters by the hilarious Laura Numeroff; pictures by Sharleen Collicot.
Perhaps you're familiar with what happens If You Give a Moose a Muffin (or a Mouse a Cookie)? Numeroff's three chicken sisters are lovely eccentrics specializing in horrific shower singing, burned cookies and ugly knitting. They're also so generous and friendly with the offerings that the poor old wolf (who's just moved into the neighborhood) is so terrorized that he leaves to move in with his mother!

Chicken and Cat by Sarah Varon.
This wordless picture book tells of country Cat's discomfort and sadness when visiting friend Chickens's drab, urban (New York) neighborhood, and the pleasure of finding color and joy in a seemingly drab place.

Lottie's New Friend by Petra Mathers.
Lottie is the central character of the Lottie's World series, which begins with Lottie's Beach Towel. In this one, Lottie and best friend Herbie's friendship is strained when the exotic Dodo moves to town. Dodo is purple, Dodo has an accent and Dodo's been in the movies! Herbie is so sick and tired of hearing about the wonderful Dodo that he's sure Lottie isn't his friend anymore. Then one day Dodo is in trouble and Herbie can help. He not only becomes Dodo's hero, but also hears all the nice things Lotties's been saying about him, and he learns that you can make new friends and keep your old friends too.

Wow, that's a lot of white hens. Surprisingly, there are many many more chicken-themed picture books out there. I'll try to round up more in future posts; books are just so much fun. Do you have a favorite chicken book, either for children or grownsups, to recommend? Any about roosters?

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