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THE PLOT CHICKENS

Author: Mary Jane Auch

Illustrator: Mary Jane and Horm Auch

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Holiday House, ©2009

Material: hard cover

Summary: Henrietta loves reading so much she decides to write a book herself. With the help of her chicken friends, she creates her plot and writes the story. None of the publishers she sends it to wants to publish a book written by a chicken. So she publishes it herself. When it gets a bad review in the newspaper, Henrietta is embarrassed and hides. When she finally gets up the nerve to go back to the library, she sees her book on display. The children see her and praise her book. She reads the story, even though it sounds like clucking to the kids. The end of the book has the story she wrote. This is a picture book story about reading, perseverance, and courage.

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

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter picked this because when she flipped through it, the pictures got her attention. She tried to help the chickens come up with different ideas of how their story should go. She laughed at the end when she realized the children couldn’t even understand Henrietta! She enjoyed seeing the process the chickens went through to make up the story and get it published.

Adult Reader Reaction: I enjoyed watching the process of the chicken coming up with the story. I thought it was a very easy to understand book that explains the writer's process. I was surprised it interested her so much, but was pleased that it did.

Pros: This funny, smartly-written book offers kids a great story and a chance to understand how authors write books.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a story that can grow with your child. All school and public libraries should have this book.

If You Liked This Book, Try: WORDSWORTH THE POET   LOUIE!   DEAR POLAR BEAR ...

Educational Themes: You can use this book to show kids how a story is born. Henrietta's tale offers a bird's eye view of the writer's process, publishing, and book reviews. There are opportunities to talk about problem solving, feelings, taste (not everyone likes the same thing), courage, and perseverance.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal stories, humor, writing

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2009

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