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THE LOOPY COOP HENS by Janet Morgan Stoeke

THE LOOPY COOP HENS

By Janet Morgan Stoeke (Author) , Janet Morgan Stoeke (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-525-42190-0
Publisher: Dutton

Midge, Pip and Dot are hens that are grateful for their chickenness: They like their wings, their toes and their beaks. Rooster Sam also enjoys his station in life; indeed, perhaps he is a little too self-charmed, full of strut and flash, all lordly presence. And, marvel Midge, Pip and Dot, he can fly; it is their wish as well, but they haven’t got the gift, and Sam isn’t betraying any trade secrets. The three hens engage in some espionage—no dumb clucks these hens—only to learn that Sam can’t fly after all, though they still love him anyway. The return of Stoeke’s familiar hens is welcome even if Minerva Louise seems not to occupy this particular coop. Their elemental forms, settings and patches of softened colors bounded by crayon-thick black lines are as inviting as a fresh, new coloring book. The touch of envy here is of the dreamy kind, allowing kids to appreciate that the feeling needn’t be toxic and that faults and foibles can be humorous in an endearing way—after all, Sam may act like a peacock, but the guy’s just trying to do his job—rather than yet another opportunity for schadenfreude. Told as it is in very short chapters and much humor, its indirect approach nicely coaxes sophisticated inferences from its audience, whether they be older preschoolers or fledgling independent readers. (Picture book. 3-5)