I Got a Chicken for My Birthday
Carolrhoda Books, 2018
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Three times Ana asked Abuela Lola for tickets to the amusement park for her birthday but instead, she got a CHICKEN. Somewhat pragmatic Ana figures it’s better than socks or a sweater or underwear and she does like scrambled eggs, but this is not ordinary chicken. Rather than laying eggs and doing other chicken things, this one has a long list of the most extraordinary things including straw, sticks and bricks, 100 steel girders, 10 000 screws, 60 000 nails, a host of familiar nursery characters, even a partridge in a pear tree!
Then with the help of Ana’s other pets, the chicken sets to work digging, building, hammering… what on earth is happening?
This is a unique story that has the most outrageous but fun ending that will delight young readers. Told by the bewildered Ana with the title being the repetitive pattern, and the chicken only communicating through placards, the sparse text is in direct contrast to the illustrations which are full of busyness, action and foreground detail. Little ones will be wondering just what it is the chicken is doing and even the adult reader will suspend their disbelief as the story rollicks along.
Fun for everyone especially if they are then challenged to design their own amusement park or work on Ana’s wish for her next birthday.