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by Bruce McMillan & illustrated by Gunnella

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-58581-8
Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

In a small village at the far end of Iceland, there are plenty of eggs for the ladies to use in cooking, except they are difficult to gather from the cliffs where the wild birds lay them. So the ladies buy chickens who lay many eggs. But the chickens are so happy that they forget they are chickens and start acting just like the ladies: picking blueberries, attending birthday parties and singing sheep asleep. Then they stop laying eggs. The women come up with a clever idea to fool the chickens and solve the problem. As the women exercise, the hens do likewise, until their wings are strengthened and the ladies remind them that they are birds and can fly and they do—to the cliffs where the women, now also strong, can gather their eggs. Gunnella’s folk-style oil paintings embellish the wry humor of the brief text, depicting the plump women with aprons, thick legs and babushkas. Brush strokes add to the peasant look and the simple, expressive chicken faces are very beak-in-cheek. Gunnella and McMillan have hatched an “egg-cellent” tale of ingenuity and resourcefulness. (Picture book. 5-8)