Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 12/01/2013 PreS-Gr 2—Born with skinny human arms instead of wings, Henny is one extraordinary chicken. Though her mother loves her unconditionally, Henny struggles with her peculiar appearance. She vacillates between enjoying having arms and worrying about fitting in. One day, as she follows Mr. Farmer around the farm, she catches an egg that he drops and embraces her uniqueness at last. Stanton's airy watercolor and pencil illustrations on expansive white backgrounds deftly capture the chick's range of emotions, from sadness about being teased by other animals to triumph when picturing herself flying a plane. The droll depictions of her activities, however, are somewhat unsettling-Henny milking a very confused cow, eating bugs with chopsticks, or crossing her arms are equal parts funny and uncanny. Giles Andreae's Giraffes Can't Dance (Orchard, 2001) and Mo Willems's Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed (among many others) present more developed, yet still humorous takes on the subject.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 01/01/2014 *Starred Review* This Henny is no regular sky-is-falling chick. She has arms! (A helpful chart compares a normal chick with Henny: wattles, yes; combs, yes; wings, uh, no.) Henny has mixed feelings about her arms. They can flutter—but they can also drag. Should she be left-handed? Or right-handed? Should she use deodorant? All ambivalence disappears, however, when Henny gets a taste of working on the farm. Milking cows and feeding chicks empowers her, and she begins to consider all the other things she might be able to do, including picking up her grain with chopsticks and combing her comb. Ultimately, all these possibilities lead to—maybe—a career as a pilot. The plot is thin, but the premise is clever, and the execution is hysterical. In part, this comes from Stanton’s expert depiction of Henny as fair, round, bemused, and rather feminine (except for those long hairy arms). And in part it comes from the clever, unlikely scenarios in which she places her heroine. The matter-of-fact tone of the text elevates the weirdness of the juxtapositions. For those who want a little more meat on their drumstick, this does have a good message about making the best of one’s circumstances and looking on the bright side. But mostly, it’s just funny. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.

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