HUNGRY HEN by Richard Waring


Age Range: 3 - 6
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Patience is a virtue, but there is also a reason why the admonition “carpe diem” has been around long enough to be remembered in the Latin. One of the two characters in Waring’s debut is a hungry hen who rarely relaxes in the pursuit of something to tuck into her mouth. Then there is the fox, who observes the hen’s gluttony from his lookout on a nearby hilltop. The fox is hungry, though he appreciates that the hen is getting plumper by the second. So he patiently bides his time, waiting for the hen to become the meal of a lifetime. “And so he waited and waited and waited, and the hen grew bigger and bigger, and the fox grew hungrier and hungrier, and thinner and thinner.” When the fox can stand it no more and he makes his raid on the hen house, the hen has attained superhero proportions and the fox is looking like Jack Sprat. In giant letters sprawling across two pages, the text reads “And just as the fox was about to pounce . . .” You guessed it: the fox is lunch. Turning proverbs on their heads every now and then knocks the must off them, putting them back in perspective by letting their darker side seize the spotlight. Church’s artwork, painted on her handmade paper, maintains the subversive edge with its gawky composition, perfectly arranged perspectives, and sinister-turning-to-comical air. Her simple figures belie their sophistication, yet offer a splendid lesson in composition and tone. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-623880-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2001


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