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Four Hens and A Rooster

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Four hens live on a chicken farm. A little rooster lives there, too. "What a nice little rooster you have here," everyone says when they come to visit. Indeed, it seems so for a while. But then the rooster begins to take more food for himself, and the hens get less. When the hens try talking to him about fairness, they're not prepared for his reaction. The rooster turns into an egotistical barnyard bully, and the hens are worse off than before....

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R & S Books, 10/08/2005, Hardcover, Brand New! New dust jacket.

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Overview

Four hens live on a chicken farm. A little rooster lives there, too. "What a nice little rooster you have here," everyone says when they come to visit. Indeed, it seems so for a while. But then the rooster begins to take more food for himself, and the hens get less. When the hens try talking to him about fairness, they're not prepared for his reaction. The rooster turns into an egotistical barnyard bully, and the hens are worse off than before. Finally, the oldest hen puts her foot down: "We can't go on like this. We must do something."

Expressive and witty illustrations give lots of pluck to this hilarious barnyard tale from Sweden's most beloved husband-and-wife duo.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This seemingly simple tale of barnyard chickens turns out to be a humorous but inspirational parable of an uprising against a tyrant—with, perhaps, feminist overtones. Brown Beige, Blond, and Red are the colors of the chickens, and the names under which their food appears daily in the trough. The small but cocky rooster has his own spot where somehow, the chickens notice, he gets more food than they do. When questioned, he summons support from fellow roosters and shouts down the chickens. As he takes over more and more control, the chickens decide it is time for them to take a course in self-esteem. They assert their rights, and all seems well, but somehow on the final page we sense that the rooster has not given up yet. Colored illustrations produce a basic yard with a few props, like signs, and the characters. The hens are at first typically docile, while the much smaller rooster is all red cockscomb and attitude. The fun really begins as we watch the hens reinvent themselves amid parodies of contemporary enhancements of self-esteem. The almost final scene of the rooster, limp in posture and crest-fallen, contrasts with that of one of the chickens sunbathing in sunglasses, as farm life goes on. 2005 (orig. 2004), R & S Books, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Four chickens share a trough with a rooster and wonder why he has ample space while they are lined up cheek by jowl. When the hesitant hens finally question him, the chauvinistic fowl is outraged and further reduces the amount of food that they receive. Meanwhile, he is working on a mysterious project that is only conveyed using sophisticated visual clues. At times, the text is abrupt in its transitions. For example: "We'll take a course in self-esteem" faces a page that says, "The hens were feeling dizzy when they got off the bus." The art that accompanies this spread is equally confusing. Otherwise, the illustrations are expressive, clearly delineated watercolors filled with funny details. Humor abounds in the art, but many youngsters are unlikely to understand the tension that mounts around this gender-related theme.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The hens revolt when Rooster gets too big for his britches in this droll barnyard spoof. Responding to timid complaints that their assigned spots at the feeding trough are smaller than his, Rooster calls in two beefy "booster roosters" to help him crow the hens into submission. In response, the hens enroll in a self-esteem-building course that gives them the courage to face him down-whereupon he stalks off in a huff to work on an "important project." The sunny, simple illustrations play up the comical contrast between the plump hens and their bantam-sized, fiercely self-absorbed trough mate, and will draw at least as much laughter as the tongue-in-cheek plot. Fans of Doreen Cronin's Click, Clack, Moo (2000), illustrated by Betsy Lewin, and other Animal Farm offshoots, will be particularly amused. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789129663365
  • Publisher: R & S Books
  • Publication date: 10/8/2005
  • Pages: 28
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.72 (w) x 11.22 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Lena Landström and Olof Landström have previously collaborated on the award-winning Will series and the Boo and Baa books. They live in Sweden.

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