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4.5 2
by Mary Jane Auch, Herm Auch (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Chickerella by Mary Jane Auch (who, PW said, "earns a feather in her cap for her deadpan presentation of absurdity and triumph" for Bantam of the Opera), illus. by Mary Jane and Herm Auch, stars the titular white feathered bird. When her widower father marries a gaudy black-feathered fowl, the hen sends Chickerella's father "off on a wild goose chase," redecorates the coop and locks the heroine in the springhouse nightly. Photographs of the 3-D Fairy Goosemother, the Fowl Ball and the glass egg clue are worth the price of admission. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Hold on to your tiara for this exuberant Cinderella variant. Mary Jane and Herm have obviously had a wonderful time creating fabulous, glittery costumes for the chickens that populate this retelling; featuring a step-chicken, a fairy fowl-mother, and, of course, a princely rooster. The ending here takes a turn as a high fashion business grows out of the creating of suitable clothes for the ball. Lots of grown-up puns to entertain older readers and lots of glitz for younger listeners' eyes to feast upon. The combination of real photography and computer-generated art might not have worked for a sentimental version of the story but is perfectly matched to this chickens run amok version. You might be inspired to create some feathery garb of your own after reading this one. The shoes alone are worth the price of admission. 2005, Holiday House, Ages 3 to 6.
—Sheilah Egan
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-"Chickerella had a wonderful chickhood until one night when a fox got into the coop and carried off her mother." Thus begins a new fractured fairy tale in which Chickerella lays glass eggs and everyone wants to go to the prince's Fowl Ball. Though Chickerella has no interest in getting married and only wants to see the fancy gowns, her stepmother will not allow her to go. To the rescue comes the Fairy Goosemother, who has a penchant for fashion design and gives good pragmatic advice such as, "Don't wait for someone else to fix things, dearie. You take charge." Unfortunately, the showy artwork tends to overwhelm the punchy story line. Handmade chicken mannequins with heads of polymer clay were dressed, adorned, and positioned on sets made from found objects and photographed. The artist then used a computer to generate scale and special effects. While full of clever details, such as Chickerella's bright orange "Chickenstock" sandals, the photographs are quite jarring. Still, this is a pun-filled story for libraries in which fractured fairy tales are popular, and the ending will satisfy children who like "eggstravaganzas."-Julie Roach, Watertown Free Public Library, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Another eggceptional addition to the oeuvre of this feather-brained duo unfolds as in the traditional tale: Mom dies (fox in chicken coop), stepmother moves in with two daughters (Ovumelda and Cholestera), father sent away ("wild goose chase"), Chickerella's life goes downhill. Chickerella wants desperately to attend the Fowl Ball. Not to nab a husband, but to see all the fabulous gowns (sewing is her specialty). The Fairy Goosemother saves the day, but midnight has Chickerella fleeing, leaving behind a glass egg that just could not be kept inside (blame it on the magic water). Reunited, the Prince and Chickerella find that they both attended the ball only for the gowns and decide to start their own fashion business. No wedding, but still a happily ever after. Wordplay and visual details will have adult readers laughing aloud, from the "Chickenstock" sandals to the "eggstravaganza" of a fashion show in "New Yolks." Most amazing is the artwork. A note explains that Mary Jane made posable chicken mannequins, also creating all their clothes and accessories. Herm took photos of all the set objects, scaling them by using a computer. The result is a cast of 3-D characters reminiscent of Jim Henson's "Dark Crystal." In a market stuffed with fairytale remakes, this one is a must-have for collections. (Picture book. 3-10)

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Chickerella 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
cleopatraSF More than 1 year ago
A great read aloud that will challenge kids to remember all the Cinderella stories they have ever heard. This is a lot of fun!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A glamor girl's delight! My daughter is so enchanted by the chicken's shoes, gowns and accessories. She thought the story line was pretty cool, too. A very entertaining book.