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by Marie Alafaci ; illustrated by Shane McG

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-328-66081-7
Publisher: Clarion

Zelda is a hen with a plan: “to be the first chicken in space.”

Zelda has already built her spaceship, planned the experiments she’ll carry out in space, and trained for weightlessness (by suspending herself from a tree limb). Now, all she needs is a little help from her friends. Walter the rooster won’t help with her spacesuit (he doesn’t sew!). Mike is too busy to help with the heat shielding. And Bella the hen does not “do DIY,” so she can’t help with the control panel. Zelda goes it alone; despite some difficulty counting backward at countdown, she blasts off into space! After a successful mission of weighing stardust and counting planets, she returns home to find that her friends claim partial credit for her success. Zelda’s not fazed…in fact, the stars were lonely; she plans to take some company on her next astral adventure. Australian duo Alafaci and McG have crafted a space-age “Little Red Hen” (who is white here), and even those who know the traditional tale will admire Zelda’s pluck and forgiving nature. McG’s burnished illustrations in a muted palette, full of barnyard tech and expressive chickens, pair well with Alafaci’s straightforward text.

A tale of plucky poultry sure to inspire those who are afraid they may be too chicken to follow their dreams.

(Picture book. 3-7)