Sunday, October 05, 2008

Chicken Feathers


Cowley, Joy. 2008. Chicken Feathers. Illustrations by David Elliot.

Chicken Feathers by Joy Cowley is enjoyable enough for what it is: a mostly charming story about a boy who loves his pet chicken, Semolina. Josh is the only one in his family that knows (and believes) that Semolina is more than just a chicken. She's an extraordinary chicken: a chicken that can talk. Not just squawk. But talk. Actually talk in human words. Every one else....well...let's just say that they don't trust Josh that much. Semolina has her vices, however, and one of them is her addiction to "brown water" or brew.

There are a few story elements going on in this one: Josh's first semi-semi-crush on the girl next door; the family dealing with a difficult pregnancy. (Josh's mom is hospitalized at six months.) The grandmother (mother-in-law) coming to take care of the family while the mom's in the hospital. And the chickens. There is a fox on the loose in the neighborhood. And Semolina's warnings are going unheeded--at least in the very beginning--so there is danger on that front.

I liked this one. It was unique enough. Not many books about talking chickens having special relationships with their owners that I can recollect. But as nice as it was, amusing as it was in places, I didn't quite love it. But I liked it.

Publisher's description:

Feather-flapping fun by one of the best-loved storytellers of our time.

A talking chicken! Josh knows it sounds ridiculous, but that’s just what Semolina is. And she’s not just a talking chicken . . . she’s a spirited, sarcastic, sassytalking chicken. And with Josh’s mom in the hospital about to give birth to his sister, Josh needs Semolina more than ever, even if she will only talk in front of him. But when Semolina tells him that a fox is sneaking into the hen house at night, can Josh get his dad to believe in Semolina before it’s too late?

Chicken Feathers introduces one of children’s literature’s most original, endearing new characters to peck her way onto the page. In the tradition of Charlotte’s Web, here is a book full of tender moments, sparkling humor, and classic black-and-white illustrations.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Amanda 10:27 AM  

You are always the one who gets me to read books that I normally wouldn't glance at! Talking chickens isn't my thing, but this one sounds pretty good. :-)

I did respond to your comment about The Last Wild Place over on my blog, but I didn't know if you would return to check it or not. I really don't think it's part of a series, the plot doesn't give any indication of past books or anything like that.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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