Saturday, October 17, 2009

REVIEW: The Chicken of the Family

Amato, M.  (2008).  The Chicken of the Family.  New York:  G.P. Putnam's Sons.


Henrietta's two older sisters always tease her.  This time they take it to a new level, trying to convince her that she is a chicken.  Henrietta wakes to find a chicken egg in her bed and two feathers on her floor.  Convinced that she is, in fact, a chicken, Henrietta goes in search of her real family on the neighbor's farm.

This is a fun, light story (that may still hit a nerve with you children who have been teased by older siblings).  The illustrations are colorful and fun.  I like the way that the illustrator, Delphine Durand, painted flowers and trees.

I do recommend that a parent or teacher use this as a read aloud though, since some pages are pretty text heavy and could be very intimidating.


The Chicken of the Family is a good book to use as a read aloud with a young child who feels teased by his or her older siblings.  Another angel to focus on would be a sense of belonging or the connection among family members.

Of course, if a teacher were not looking to specifically impart wisdom about dealing with daunting dunder-sibs, a teacher could share this as a fun and humorous read.  Then he or she could ask the students which animal they would like to pretend to be and have them spend a few minutes brainstorming over how those animals behave before pretending to be them.

Quotes of Note:

"Henrietta had two older sisters who loved to tease her.  She hated it when they laughed at her and made fun of her games."

"You're a chicken."
"Ha, ha," said Henrietta.
"It's true," Kim said sadly.  "You really are a chicken.  Mom got you from Barney's farm."

"But there, in her bed, was an egg.  And on the floor by her bed were two brown feathers.  Her sisters were right.  She really was a chicken!"

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