Another wonderful animal story from the author of Babe, the Gallant Pig and Harry's Mad. The chickens at Foxearth Farm, profiting from several generations of relative freedom from cages and regimentation, are unusual: quick-witted and independent, they have learned to fly (in contrast to hens' usual "short-range, low-altitude, frantic fluttering"), well out of reach of the ever-hungry foxes. The foxes plan a trap, and succeed in a massacre; but by the time they have devised a second scheme (they learn to climb ladders in order to reach the chickens' high nests), the chickens are ready: three pullets have learned to produce armored eggs that prove a decisive weapon against their enemies. King-Smith could well be compared to E.B. White: with comical precision, he captures the essence of the farmyard in his animal characters' behavior, incorporating such details as names found on farm machinery and chicken-related wordplay in his graceful, economical narrative. Not only is his book an imaginative, exciting story--when the victory of the naturally pacific hens costs the life of a gallant rooster (rather dim compared to his clever wife), as well as a lot of eggs, it downplays heroics and suggests that even a just victory has its price. A swell read-aloud.