THE CHICKENS BUILD A WALL by Jean-François Dumont

THE CHICKENS BUILD A WALL

Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

A bunch of deluded clucks build a protective wall that is anything but.

The barnyard is going about its usual business when a hedgehog waddles in. The resident animals are intrigued and edge close, whereupon the hedgehog curls into a defensive ball, causing the rat to refer to it as “this chestnut with paws.” Though it has disappeared by the next morning, the rooster—a self-appointed pooh-bah, like all roosters—decides “to take control of a barnyard full of hens who hadn’t been paying much attention to him.” He commands that a wall be built against the prickly invaders, a wall so high even birds couldn’t fly over it. So they labor and labor, building a wall of stupendous height, only to find that the hedgehog has been sleeping under the hay, inside the wall, for the winter. In all too fast a wrap-up, the chickens and hedgehog become fast friends. But if the friendship seems too precipitous, maybe a bigger lesson is in the offing here: Walls don’t work, from prisoner-of-war camps to national borders. The gorgeous European barnyard is all ocher and sienna, with gray-green shadows, old turrets and tiles highlighting the fiery red wattles of the birds.

A beautiful picture book, with an unexpected, yet profound, something to take away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5422-3
Page count: 33pp
Publisher: Eerdmans
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2013




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE SEVEN CHINESE BROTHERS by Margaret Mahy
by Margaret Mahy
ChildrenWHEN PIGASSO MET MOOTISSE by Nina Laden
by Nina Laden
ChildrenA TASTE OF COLORED WATER by Matt Faulkner
by Matt Faulkner