Daisy Comes Home

( 1 )


Mei-Mei had the six happiest hens in China. She gave them treats and fresh hay baths, and when she called to them-gu gu gu gu gu!-they all ran to her as fast as they could. But one of the hens, Daisy, was not always so happy. The other hens picked on Daisy and pushed her off the perch every night. Then one day, Daisy is accidentally washed out onto the river in a basket and she soon learns to stand up for herself. When she finds her way home, this plucky little hen is no longer ...
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Mei-Mei had the six happiest hens in China. She gave them treats and fresh hay baths, and when she called to them-gu gu gu gu gu!-they all ran to her as fast as they could. But one of the hens, Daisy, was not always so happy. The other hens picked on Daisy and pushed her off the perch every night. Then one day, Daisy is accidentally washed out onto the river in a basket and she soon learns to stand up for herself. When she finds her way home, this plucky little hen is no longer afraid as she bravely takes her place on the roost.

Jan Brett traveled to China to do research for the glorious illustrations in this heart-warming tale of self-esteem and self-confidence.

About the Author: Jan Brett and her husband, Joe, traveled with their daughter-in-law, Yun, and her husband, Sean, to China, the land where Yun was born. As they sailed down the Li River in the Guang Xi Province, Jan was reminded of a favorite story from childhood, The Story of Ping. There were the cormorants, and the fishermen.

But what made a lasting impression was the river itself, with mountains in unusual shapes towering above and small villages along the way with their colorful markets and brightly dressed children.

All of these memories became a backdrop for Daisy's adventures. Why a hen for her spunky heroine? Perhaps Daisy was inspired by Jan's hens at home: Pansy, Bluebell, and Dahlia.

Daisy, an unhappy hen in China, floats down the river in a basket and has an adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Legendary author and illustrator Jan Brett transforms Scandinavian illustrations and stories to explore the beauty and color of China. Inspired by a favorite childhood story, The Story of Ping, Brett writes of six hens in China. Cared for by the young Mei Mei, the hens lay eggs for selling at the market. But one hen, Daisy, is not so happy. Picked at and plucked by the others, she is ousted from the clan and often sleeps alone on the cold damp floor. Eager for a good night's rest, she retires to a basket on the edge of the river. But the river rises and takes Daisy with it! She awakes surrounded by water and soon fends off a frightful dog, a terrifying buffalo, and a clan of squawking monkeys. But Daisy stands up to every one of these creatures and survives the wild waters. However, when a fisherman captures her and plans to eat her for dinner, there is nothing she can do. Meanwhile, Mei Mei's unsuccessful search for Daisy ends as she tearfully packs up the eggs and heads to market. Luckily, she finds Daisy there, and with a little call of "Gu-gu-gu-gu-gu!" Daisy comes running. Back at the henhouse, Daisy uses her newly learned skills to stave off the mean hens and gain a rightful spot on the perch.

Brett's illustrations truly amaze. Her well-known eye for detail flourishes in the beautiful land of China. From exquisite landscapes to the fine features of all the animals, Brett lets her imagination and her wondrous skill take hold. Mountains become animals upon closer investigation, and the market will entice readers with its color and the bustling activity of the many people selling their wares. Brett traveled to China for inspiration and it shows in every page. The layouts are framed with bamboo and feature mini-scenes from the story in the corners. This tale of empowerment will appeal to young readers as Daisy stands on her own and doesn't run away. Rather, she returns to face her foes and holds her ground. An important lesson and a beautiful tale. (Amy Barkat)

Publishers Weekly
"Inspired in part by the classic story of Ping, the adventurous duck on the Yangtze River, this spirited, intricately illustrated tale centers on the smallest of six hens," said PW. Ages 4-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Inspired in part by the classic story of Ping, the adventurous young duck on the Yangtze River, Brett's (The Mitten) spirited, intricately illustrated tale centers on Daisy, the smallest of Mei Mei's six hens. Escaping the taunts of the larger hens, the beleaguered creature leaves the henhouse one rainy night to sleep in an egg basket at the edge of the Li River. But soon the rising water reaches the basket, and the current sweeps Daisy downstream. While a distraught Mei Mei searches for her, Daisy encounters (and cleverly escapes from) a dog, a water buffalo and a troop of monkeys before being snatched up by a fisherman who can't wait to sell her at market. Mei Mei's nick-of-time rescue of Daisy will bring smiles to young faces as will Daisy's new status in the hen house. In the main frame of each paneled spread, Brett depicts in fine detail the diverse wildlife and lush vegetation found along the Li, while smaller images in the corners amplify elements of the plot. Incorporating simulated bamboo patterns, basket weaves and painted pottery, the artist's trademark borders and embellishments intriguingly evoke the timeless setting. The elegance of the illustrations gains a touch of whimsy as Brett hides some surprises in the distant mountains. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Young Mei Mei tries to keep all six of her hens happy, but despite her loving efforts, the others pick on the smallest hen, Daisy. Driven from the roost, Daisy flees to spend the night in one of Mei Mei's "Happy Hens" market baskets, only to find herself afloat on the rising Li River in the morning. In her journey down the river Daisy holds her own against a boat dog, a water buffalo, and a curious monkey, but is captured by a fisherman intent on selling her at the market¾"Finders keepers." At the market, however, Mei Mei recognizes Daisy in her original "Happy Hens" basket, and Daisy flies back to her; to the chagrin of the thwarted fisherman¾ "Finders keepers!" Daisy's adventures have taught her how to stand up for herself in the hen house, so now Mei Mei does indeed have the six happiest hens in China. Brett's story offers the pleasures of an exciting journey through another land and culture and of a likeable character's believable transformation to self-empowerment. She has outdone herself in her lush, exquisite, richly detailed, astonishingly beautiful paintings. Once again, Brett has produced a significant and enduring contribution to the field of children's literature. 2002, Putnam,
— Claudia Mills
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-In a tale reminiscent of Marjorie Flack's The Story about Ping (Viking, 1933), the smallest hen in Mei Mei's chicken house can't compete each evening for her spot on the perch. One rainy night, Daisy decides to sleep outside, and she settles down in one of Mei Mei's market baskets, which is picked up by the rain-swollen Li River. Carried downstream, she has many adventures until she is caught by an enterprising fisherman who plans to sell her in the market. Of course, she is rescued by her determined owner in a daring escape scene. Brett's tale is clever and contains many authentic elements-varied Chinese people in modern clothing, fruits and vegetables, typical architecture from the area, etc. However, some of the market scenes are a bit old-fashioned, and not all of the Chinese characters on the baskets are correct. As is typical of Brett's work, the pages are full of detail and often overdecorative, and the small pictures in the slanting sidebars distract from the dramatic, bold watercolors. The karsts, oddly shaped mountains found near the Li River, are drawn to resemble animals, which takes attention away from the main focus of the illustrations. Still, this lively story will be popular with young readers who won't mind a tale that reflects China as seen by an admiring American visitor.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This popular author visits Asia for a charming tale of a plucky hen. Daisy knows she is loved-young Mei Mei has the six happiest hens in China-but she is tired of being pecked at by the other hens and driven from their cozy perch at night. One wet evening she curls up in one of Mei Mei's market baskets, with its red Chinese characters reading "happy hens." But the river takes the basket, and Daisy awakens to find herself far from Mei Mei. She fends off a dog, a water buffalo, and a pack of monkeys in a banyan tree, but is captured by a fisherman who sees his dinner in her plumpness. Mei Mei, after searching all over for Daisy, finally takes her eggs to market where she finds the fisherman who cries "Finders keepers!" Calling her chicken, Mei Mei whisks her away from the fisherman, taking her back to her perch where she uses what she's learned to secure her place. Brett's (Hedgie's Surprise, 2000, etc.) brilliantly colored gouache and watercolor illustrations are pleasingly complex. Each double-page spread is framed by corner pieces edged in bamboo, with vignettes that reflect other action happening in the story at the same time as the main picture. Borders, backgrounds, and basketry patterns reflect many kinds of Asian decorative arts. Even the mountains and trees are often shaped like animals familiar to Brett fans. The hens are attractive and dignified, not anthropomorphized at all, yet individually drawn. The lesson of standing up for oneself is very gently etched in a read-aloud that will reward lots of poring over pictures. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
Brett, known for her intricate designs and her engaging artwork, outdoes herself in this story set in modern-day China. (Booklist, starred review)

The elegance of the illustrations gains a touch of whimsy as Brett hides some surprises in the distant mountains. (Publishers Weekly)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142402702
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 294,689
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Brett
Jan Brett
Jan Brett lives in Norwell, Massachusetts. Her most recent book, The Three Snow Bears, was a New York Times #1 bestseller.
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