Hen P. Zonka annoys the other chickens in the yard: Instead of laying eggs, she spends her time carefully observing, and marveling at, the natural world around her.
At the start, readers learn the egg-laying habits of hens Maud, Dora and Nadine. Only Gloria is exempt from egg-laying expectations, “because he turned out to be a rooster. It was his job and he did it well.” When the other hens press P. Zonka to explain why she won’t lay an egg, a particularly vibrant double-page spread illustrates her poetic list of reasons: “I will tell you why,” it opens, ending with, “the orange cat with one blue eye, the shining center of a dandelion, the sky at midnight.” Unconvinced, her feathered cohorts pressure P. Zonka to at least try to lay an egg, and she finally does—with a result that surprises and delights everyone. Every page turn reveals a stunning new composition of fowls with personality, baskets of eggs and floral design elements evocative of…of course…the beautiful folk art found on a Ukrainian decorated egg, also known as a pysanka. Even those who do not appreciate the play on words are sure to enjoy this tale of the dividends of daydreaming, beautifully enhanced by colors and designs that shout “Spring!” to a winter-weary world.
Charming, unusual and sure to induce smiles. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)