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When Henrietta becomes the first chicken in her coop to learn how to read, she uses her skills to save her aunties from becoming chicken soup.
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Mary Jane Auch and her husband Herm Auch are a husband and wife team of illustrators whose first picture book collaboration was The Princess and the Pizza. Mary Jane Auch is also known for her historical and humorous fiction for children and her hilarious poultry parody picture books. The Auchs live on a small farm near Rochester, New York. Visit www.mjauch.com to learn more.From School Library Journal:
Kindergarten-Grade 4-A disappointing addition to Auch's collection of enjoyable stories featuring poultry with high aspirations. In Hen Lake (1995) and Bantam of the Opera (1997, both Holiday), the author successfully teamed a follow-your-dreams message with humorous storytelling, but in this tale about a self-taught hen, she runs afoul of her formula. When egg production is down, Henrietta's aunts think that the farmer is sending them on a well-deserved vacation, but the younger chicken's ability to read the truck's "Souper Soup" logo clues her in to their real destination. On her mission to save her relatives from the soup factory, Henrietta reads labels, maps, and signs, pausing along the way to warn truckloads of pigs and cows of their futures as sausages and hamburgers. After the rescue is complete, the heroine and her flock find refuge with a vegetarian organic farmer. By the end, the story's pro-reading emphasis is overwhelmed by its anti-meat slant, and ceaseless puns only underscore the macabre tone. Even if young readers understand the farmer's tasteless comments ("-she's a cream of a chicken") and the truck driver's replies ("No wonder you're wonton to keep her"), they are more likely to groan than chuckle. Auch's other protagonists were driven by the joy of self-expression; the sole motivation here is survival. The illustrations are colorful and expressive, but aren't enough to lighten the mood. Compared to the author's previous successes, this book simply isn't up to scratch.
Eve Ortega, Cypress Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Holiday House, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1. Seller Inventory # DADAX0823417042
Book Description Holiday House, 2003. Condition: New. Herm Auch (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0823417042
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