A Hen for Izzy Pippik

Shaina is about the sweetest and most tenacious little girl you’d ever want to meet. When she feels a “pickety peck” on her face, she soon discovers that a crate carrying a hen has fallen from Izzy Pippik’s truck. Eager to be a help, she brings the hen home to her family who wants to eat it. Of course, they can’t eat it because it belongs to Izzy. When the hen lays eggs, Shaina won’t let the family eat the eggs because they too belong to Izzy Pippik, and when 12 chickens are born she won’t let the townsfolk eat them for the same reason.

Months go by and the chicks have more chicks which have more chicks until hundreds of chickens were to be found on the town square and rooftops. At first the people were grumpy about it but as word spread and visitors came to see, business started booming and the people were happy.  Shaina reminds everyone that they all belong to Izzy Pippik but now the town loves and needs them and wants them to stay. “Aooogah!” announces the return of Izzy to Shaina’s delight. What happens next is…ah, no. No  spoilers here–you will have to read to find out what happens.

The folk tale is wonderful; the illustrations which look sort of like folk art are expressive and work perfectly with the writing; and the main character Shaina is one you won’t soon forget.

Kids Can Press, 2012.

Other Reviews

“Nicely paced text and colorful scratchboard-like images are beautifully connected, with the wandering chicks’ paths drawn in loopy lines. This is a book to savor and reread, in the tradition of Margot Zemach’s ‘It Could Always Be Worse’.” —Booklist“… sharp-witted tale drawn from Jewish and Islamic sources. Lafrance deserves a special shout-out for her work — she proves once again that she s a rare talent who can combine naif rendering with a highly sophisticated and consistently inventive sense of composition. Ages 4-8.” —Publishers Weekly

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