HENRIETTA AND THE GOLDEN EGGS by Hanna Johansen

HENRIETTA AND THE GOLDEN EGGS

by , translated by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Henrietta is one of 3,333 chickens crowded together in a chicken house on a chicken farm in a space with just enough room for their feet; she is the only little one and the only one without a cough or loss of feathers. Every day the manager counts up the eggs they’ve laid. Henrietta announces she is going to lay golden eggs when she’s big, but first she’s going to learn to sing; of course, the other hens laugh at her. When she pecks a hole in the corner of the house, making it big enough for her to walk through, she sees green things for the first time. Soon the hole is big enough for all the chickens to escape and the manager has to round them up. Next Henrietta tackles learning to swim, then learning to fly and each time all of the chickens get loose. When the workers can’t round them all up, they build a great big chicken yard in the open and everyone is happier. The crisp black-and-white, pen-and-ink drawings are bordered on the square pages with images flying outside the edges. A brown chicken runs across the top of the pages accenting the page numbers. (The colorful cover and endpapers will lead readers to expect color illustrations.) The length and squarish size could make placement difficult as it looks like a chapter book—but the audience is really younger. The moral may be a stretch as the stylized art puts a sophisticated edge on this barnyard fable originally published in Germany. Kids may simply like Henrietta’s determination and cockiness when her first egg turns out to be brown and they’re sure to enjoy the escapes. Better for one-on-one reading to give the pictures (and chickens) their due. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-56792-210-4
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Godine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2003




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