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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 K-Gr 3—This is another offbeat and quirky entry in the series of "Poultry Parodies," a collection of picture books that feature chickens acting like people. In this story, Henrietta is a chicken who loves to read and write—rare talents for a chicken. Henrietta decides that the only way she will be published is to pretend to be human. She adopts the name of Henrietta Fowler, and, with inspiration from her three aunts, she writes and publishes Chickergarten. Auch's story is stuffed with numerous examples of wordplay, including the onomatopoeic title, the names of the fictional authors, and the ongoing silly use of egg throughout the story. For example, when Henrietta is invited to attend the Children's Book Festival, she "didn't need to brood over the invitation. She eggs-cepted right away." The story contains a second level of meaning as the Auchs slyly poke fun at the publishing review process and the difficulties of becoming a published author. At one point Henrietta eats the star that her book receives from The Corn Book, mistaking it for a bug. The illustrations are an unusual but interesting mix of realistic photographs and stylized digital art. VERDICT A fine book for a wordplay unit that celebrates the plucky outsider who brings a fresh perspective.—Sally James, South Hillsborough Elementary School, Hillsborough, CA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2015 Eggs-citing (and punny) adventures abound in this return of Henrietta, chicken and children’s book author extraordinaire. Last seen in The Plot Chickens (2009), this wisecracking hen has finally published an acclaimed children’s book (starred in the Corn Review!). Even better, she has just been invited to participate in a children’s book festival as a featured author. But no one, not even her publisher, knows that Henrietta is a chicken, not a human, and her appearance causes complete chaos until a helpful librarian saves the day. The detailed, digitally retouched illustrations add an extra layer of humor—Henrietta types away on her trusty “Hunt & Peck” typewriter—as this farcical story pokes loving fun at the publishing industry. Those who have followed Henrietta’s literary adventures in earlier “poultry parodies” will be thrilled to see her succeed at last, and young aspiring writers will find nothing but encouragement to pursue a craft. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.