THE BROODY HEN by Olivier Dunrea


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Beautifully illustrated and handsomely presented, but a fundamentally wrongheaded book. The nicely cadenced text relates a hen's failure to hatch chicks after laying eggs in wildly unsuitable places like a pig's trough; finally settling down when the farmer shuts her in a pen, she hatches a dozen. With quaint medieval architecture and a Pennsylvania Dutch farmer, Dunrea's elegantly structured paintings suggest fantasy--and it's definitely fantasy that the eggs are all different colors. There's no particular harm in that, but it's the sort of gratuitous manipulation that misrepresents the natural world to no good purpose. For a story about a feckless nest-sitter--a book with an impeccable grasp of the rural scene--try Potter's The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Doubleday