FICTION

A Chicken Followed Me Home!: Questions and Answers About a Familiar Fowl!

A Chicken Followed Me Home!: Questions and Answers About a Familiar Fowl! illus. by Robin Page. 40p. diag. ebook available. further reading. websites. S. & S./Beach Lane. May 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481410281. LC 2013041955.
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RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—With a touch of humor, this well-designed title presents everything you always wanted to know about chickens—but didn't know to ask. The book starts with an unnamed narrator who's been followed home by a fowl, asking, "What do I do now?" After the hen eventually lays and hatches eggs and the chicks mature into adult hens, the child hopes that the creatures will "follow someone else home." Along the way, readers are introduced to information on anatomy, care, and life cycle. A question begins each topic ("Will my chicken lay eggs?") with keywords highlighted with larger, bolder type. Details are labeled or given small call-out illustrations. Digitally produced, the images are well integrated with the text and use highly textured shapes. Bright, solid color backgrounds alternate with white ones. Readers will find tons of fun and well-presented material; one page displays 260 eggs, the average number a hen lays in a year. A concluding spread of "More Chicken Questions" gives further detail and a list of more resources.
VERDICT A charming addition to animal collections. Expect newly hatched domestic fowl enthusiasts to crow over this one.—Carol S. Surges, formerly at Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa, WI
Each page or spread asks and answers just one question about chickens and their care, presented in a logical sequence. Lots of white space in the warm Photoshop illustrations allows the exemplar chicken, a Rhode Island Red, plenty of room; she is generally pictured at about half life-size. A closing spread offers a slightly more advanced set of chicken questions. Reading list, websites.
This straightforward introduction to chickens is a lesson in book design of young informational books. Lots of white space allows the exemplar chicken, a Rhode Island Red, plenty of room; she (and the book clearly explains how to tell the males from the females) is generally pictured at about half life-sized. Each page or spread asks (“How long does it take an egg to become a chick?”) and answers (“If a fertilized egg is kept warm and turned regularly, a chick will hatch in about 21 days”) just one question about chickens and their care, and the sequence of questions is logical, with each answer building on what’s come before. The Photoshop illustrations are warm and unclinical but spare and always attentive to the particular topic under review. A closing spread offers a slightly more advanced set of chicken questions (“Why do chickens have combs?”) and a neat, brief directory of other sources for information. Sophie in Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, reviewed on page 112, would’ve found the practical information here extremely useful. roger sutton

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