Books by Patti Beling Murphy

Released: May 1, 2003

They're back! Those two mischievous chickens from Elinor and Violet: The Story of Two Naughty Chickens (2001) are reunited when Violet comes to visit her grandmother for the summer. Elinor is easily swayed by Violet's plucky personality and naughty nature: dying her sister's clothes purple; picking flower heads for flower soup; buying slingshots; using bad words; burping; and frosting cupcakes with shaving cream. But Elinor balks when Violet wants to go swimming without a grown-up. Trusting in her instinct that it's not a good idea, Elinor amuses herself on the beach while Violet and a new friend go in by themselves. When they come running out of the water screaming that a sea monster is after them, it's Elinor who "rescues" Violet from the embarrassing situation—and their friendship. The funny cover sets the tone and the gouache illustrations are perfectly puckish and prankish, cleverly conveying the message of standing up to peer pressure. Kids will chuckle over the pranks as these two friends demonstrate resisting the taunt "Don't be a chicken!" in an entertaining way. (Picture book. 4-6)Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2001

Hot and snazzy artwork carries this story of being more than just a little naughty. Elinor is a young chicken. She enjoys being a tad naughty, like writing on the wall (but in tiny letters), and talking back to her mother (but not out loud), and singing bad words (softly, under her breath). Then she meets Violet, on a visit to the neighborhood for a week; Violet enjoys being naughty without restraint. They get along like a house afire. They pull lots of practical jokes, then go so far as to hide Elinor's favorite aunt's purse, jeopardizing a special trip to the teahouse. Violet demands that Elinor pinkie-swear not to divulge the whereabouts of the purse, but Elinor spills the beans, admitting that they wanted it as buried treasure. When she apologizes, her aunt says, "Oh, Elinor, everyone's naughty sometimes," and goes on to tell the story of a low-down trick she and Elinor's mother did as young chickens. Murphy's is a sensible idea: Keep your naughtiness in perspective. Most everyone enjoys a joke, but few appreciate being tormented. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >