Bringing home the bacon (or, in this case, the fish) is not as simple as it may seem.
The title of this wordless continuation of The Chicken Thief (2010) is something of a misnomer, as Hen spends much of this eventful day apart from Fox. The connubial bliss of Hen and Fox is marred by an empty refrigerator, so Hen kisses her egg goodbye and leaves it in the care of Fox while she and friend Crab head out for a day of fishing. She lands a big one in short order, but an equally short order it is snaggled by a giant bird that flies off with fish, Hen (clinging to the rod) and Crab (clinging to Hen's tail feathers). Comical misadventures ensue, all laid out in super-wide-screen format with Rodriguez’s characteristic fine line and sense of absurdity. This story does not present the same emotional nuance of its predecessor, but children will get plenty of giggles watching Hen and Crab fend off giant, ravenous hatchlings and battle a sea serpent. The complexity comes when Hen opens the door to see a cracked egg shell and a skillet on the table; about to bop Fox with said skillet, she holds herself back when she sees him cuddling an adorable fox-hen baby.
A sweetly loopy look at domestic travails filtered through a wickedly subversive lens. (Picture book. 5-8)