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with Henny: wattles, yes; combs, yes; wings, uh, no.) Henny has mixed feelings about her arms. They can
flutter—but they can also drag. Should she be left-handed? Or right-handed? Should she use deodorant?
All ambivalence disappears, however, when Henny gets a taste of working on the farm. Milking cows and
feeding chicks empowers her, and she begins to consider all the other things she might be able to do,
including picking up her grain with chopsticks and combing her comb. Ultimately, all these possibilities
lead to—maybe—a career as a pilot. The plot is thin, but the premise is clever, and the execution is
hysterical. In part, this comes from Stanton’s expert depiction of Henny as fair, round, bemused, and rather
feminine (except for those long hairy arms). And in part it comes from the clever, unlikely scenarios in
which she places her heroine. The matter-of-fact tone of the text elevates the weirdness of the
juxtapositions. For those who want a little more meat on their drumstick, this does have a good message
about making the best of one’s circumstances and looking on the bright side. But mostly, it’s just funny.
— Ilene Cooper
Posted February 13, 2014
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