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CHICKENS! CHICKENS! by Barbara Ann Porte


by Barbara Ann Porte & illustrated by Greg Henry

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-531-06877-3
Publisher: Orchard

The Guyanese artist's monochrome chicken silhouettes inspired this exuberant tale of a painter with but one subject—chickens. No one buys his work in the country, because chickens are too familiar there; he can't sell in the city for the opposite reason- -but he meets a young woman in an art supply store, she admires his paintings, and soon they're back on the farm, raising children— and, of course, chickens. Prosperity quickly ensues when the painter's wife opens a store, selling paintings and pillows stuffed with chicken feathers, ``Genuine folk art,'' enthuse their customers. That comment injects an arch note into an otherwise good-humored story. Henry paints in a primitive style, using vibrant, high contrast colors and little shading or blending. His dark-skinned human figures are often smaller than the very freely shaped poultry that dashes and tumbles across every page. Porte's storytelling and Henry's art make an irresistible combination, next to which Dunrea's elegant The Painter Who Loved Chickens (FSG, 1995) seems formal and a bit remote. (Picture Book. 4-7)