Amateur photographs of pet hens and rabbits narrating their day-to-day lives illustrate this simple, decidedly homegrown picture book.
The author’s stated purpose in writing this picture book is to make children aware of “how special hens and rabbits are in the world.” Illustrated with what appear to be photos of the author’s pets (hens, Flemish Giant rabbits, a dog), the book opens in the friendly voice of a red hen named Third, introducing herself and her companions: a hen named Second; sibling rabbits that include Third’s friend Skyler (also listed as the author’s name); and the animals’ human caretaker, Suz. Third recounts a peaceful day in the life of this menagerie (up early, foraging for roots and worms, watching butterflies) followed by a crisis when an injured Second must go to the vet’s office. After Second’s happy return, three chicks and a wild mouse are welcomed into the family. The author’s warm affection for the furred, feathered creatures is evident and is the story’s strength. Its weakness: the errors in construction that riddle its pages. Divided into sections oddly identified as series rather than chapters, the book shifts abruptly from first person to third. Some sentences and names begin with lowercase letters, punctuation is missing or haphazard, and these errors, added to an unfortunate saccharinity, undermine the author’s well-intended attempt to interest her young audience in animals.
Warm and well-meant but roughly crafted.