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LOUISE, THE ADVENTURES OF A CHICKEN

Author: Kate DiCamillo

Illustrator: Harry Bliss

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Publisher: Joanna Cotler Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ½2008

Material: hard cover

Summary: Louise is not content to spend the rest of her life in the henhouse. A trip on the sea was interesting, but she still longed for adventure. Being a circus performer was interesting, but that had its ups and downs, too, and soon she was back at the henhouse again. Each time she left home, the hens wanted to know where she went. Finally, she told them. What did they think? This picture book is divided into chapters, one each for Louise's adventures.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, transitional reader

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 5 to 8

Reading Level: 4.2

Age of Child: Read with a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: "I love,Louise, Mom." We have read this on and off for several weeks now. Our daughter seems to select this when she wants some extra cuddle-up-and-read time. Even knowing how the story ends, she enjoys the tension of each adventure as Louise faces "certain danger."

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun story, and we were surprised when our daughter initially said she didn't want to read it. We left it on the dresser, and ultimately, she picked it up, leafed through it, and we haven't stopped reading since. There is just enough tension that kids will be glued (and worried about Louise' safety), but there is a happy ending every time. Louise is adorable, and the illustrations are action-packed, too. There are several spreads that invite you to explore all of the action that's not described in the text.

Pros: Children will quickly relate to Louise and her desire for adventure. The chapter format makes it particularly attractive (and accessible) to reluctant and remedial readers.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. The story is fun and meant to be shared aloud. The illustrations offer plenty for kids to explore within the story or in creating their own stories.

If You Liked This Book, Try: MERCY WATSON FIGHTS CRIME  

Educational Themes: Louise learns that things don't always turn out the way we planned. The chapters are self-contained, so each story builds toward the ultimate lesson: there's no place like home. Bring the story to life by planning your own adventures.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, fantasy, adventure, animal stories

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