The latest pun-filled poultry parody from the Auchs (Beauty and the Beaks, 2007, etc.) explores the travails and triumphs of a hen who strives to be a published writer.
Henrietta Fowler loves to read, use the library and write her own stories. When she sees a poster advertising a children’s-book festival with authors who are not chickens but people, she hatches an idea to write a new story about her young life and the concerns she has about leaving her cozy shell to go to "chickergarten." Pretending to be a poultry farmer, she submits her manuscript to five different publishers and is thrilled when all wish to publish her work. She chooses Holiday House “because they sounded like friendly people” who won’t mind when they learn that she is a chicken. A starred review in The Corn Book lands an invitation to the book festival, which she “egg-cepts” only to find that when she arrives, her fowl persona is unwelcome. Recognized by her friend and local librarian, Henrietta is then allowed to “scratch her autograph” for her newest fans. The numerous references to the writing and publishing process for authors coupled with the double-entendre wordplay and vivid digitally created illustrations are an imaginative way to enlighten children while simultaneously giving adults an appreciative chuckle.
This one should fly off the shelf frequently and will be eminently useful in author-visit prep. (Picture book. 5-7)