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CHICKERELLA by Mary Jane Auch


by Mary Jane Auch & illustrated by Mary Jane Auch & Herm Auch

Age Range: 3 - 10

Pub Date: April 15th, 2005
ISBN: 0-8234-1804-9
Publisher: Holiday House

Another eggceptional addition to the oeuvre of this feather-brained duo unfolds as in the traditional tale: Mom dies (fox in chicken coop), stepmother moves in with two daughters (Ovumelda and Cholestera), father sent away (“wild goose chase”), Chickerella’s life goes downhill. Chickerella wants desperately to attend the Fowl Ball. Not to nab a husband, but to see all the fabulous gowns (sewing is her specialty). The Fairy Goosemother saves the day, but midnight has Chickerella fleeing, leaving behind a glass egg that just could not be kept inside (blame it on the magic water). Reunited, the Prince and Chickerella find that they both attended the ball only for the gowns and decide to start their own fashion business. No wedding, but still a happily ever after. Wordplay and visual details will have adult readers laughing aloud, from the “Chickenstock” sandals to the “eggstravaganza” of a fashion show in “New Yolks.” Most amazing is the artwork. A note explains that Mary Jane made posable chicken mannequins, also creating all their clothes and accessories. Herm took photos of all the set objects, scaling them by using a computer. The result is a cast of 3-D characters reminiscent of Jim Henson’s “Dark Crystal.” In a market stuffed with fairytale remakes, this one is a must-have for collections. (Picture book. 3-10)