Raising chickens has become a popular hobby in urban areas where some people have small backyards.
Winston and Sophie, younger brother and older sister, live in such a community. When their mother spots a sign offering five fowl of different breeds, they adopt chickens delightfully named Dawn, Divina, Daphne, Delilah, and Desirée. Sophie announces the news at show-and-tell, and Winston does the “Chicken Dance” on a crowded city bus, yelling “THE CHICKENS ARE COMING TOMORROW!” The siblings are ready to collect eggs, but there’s nary an egg in sight. The kids put on a play, provide music and stories, anything to “get them in the mood,” but nothing happens. They begin to interact with the chickens, learning their habits, a process depicted in eight circular vignettes on a double-page spread. When the children finally discover eggs, Sophie explains that different breeds lay eggs of varied colors and sizes. The brightly colored, amusingly detailed, naïve illustrations depict a white family, but there are diverse people at school, on the bus, on the street, and in their building. From “Sophie’s Chicken Chart” on the last page, readers can learn that Daphne, with her pouf of white feathers (Winston thinks it’s a hat) is a Polish breed chicken, actually from the Netherlands, and other facts. An author’s note provides resources on raising chickens.
A very enjoyable read-aloud for would-be urban farmers and kids just needing a good laugh. (Picture book. 5-7)