Little Brown Hen's Shower

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This thin tale told in couplets begins as Brown Hen, an expectant mother, has been mysteriously summoned to the farmhouse. She overhears a passing cat remark, "There's going to be a shower!" and opens a large umbrella to protect her precious egg en route even though the skies are sunny and clear. Knowing that the hen is to be feted at a surprise baby shower, the other animals gently tease her: " `Have you thought,' gobbled Turkey, `what the farmer will say when the wind picks you up and sweeps you away?' " Here as elsewhere, LaBrosse (previously teamed with Edwards for The Grumpy Morning) illustrates the scenario with gusto, imagining a sky full of umbrella-toting animals airborne... la Mary Poppins. After being showered with gifts (and achieving motherhood), the hen imparts the lesson to her newly hatched chick: "Sometimes words sound the same, but they mean different things." The artist's watercolor and ink cartoons have an airy energy and mild silliness that make the message go down easily. The set-up, however, seems too protracted for the payoff. Ages 2-5. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this amusing story, Edwards demonstrates to young readers that a word can have many meanings. Little Brown Hen has been invited to a party and she is very protective about her egg. She has it snuggled in a nest set in a baby carriage and just before heading out for the party she hears Cat rushing by saying "There's going to be a shower! We'd all better hurry!" This hen doesn't want to get wet so she sets out with umbrella raised even though it is a clear sunny day. Her barnyard friends give her the razz and wonder if she is practicing for a tight rope act or perhaps starting a new fashion trend. They predict all sorts of dire results from carrying this umbrella without a rainstorm in sight. . Once at the barn, Little Brown Hen is surprised to learn that it is a baby shower and while there she is showered with gifts and teased about her mistake. There is yet another surprise when the egg hatches. Once home this little check is given a shower with a watering can before heading off to bed. Just in case the lesson is not clear the book ends with Little Brown Hen telling her chick the "sometimes words sound the same, but they mean different things!" Useful for parents and teachers trying to help kids learn about homonyms. 2002, Hyperion,
— Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-One morning, Little Brown Hen finds a note on her door inviting her to the farmhouse. Before she leaves, Cat tells her, "There's going to be a shower! We'd all better hurry." The hen places her egg in a baby carriage and sets out with an open umbrella, despite the sunny sky. Along the way, Duck, Goose, and Turkey tease her, suggesting that she is really using her umbrella to practice a circus act, to start a new fashion, or to take flight on a gust of wind. Each one of these silly possibilities is illustrated on a wordless spread. When Brown Hen finally arrives at her destination, she discovers that her friends have thrown a shower for her and her egg, which hatches during the party. That night, she tells her chick, "sometimes words sound the same, but they mean different things." While the vibrant watercolor cartoons do much to keep the action moving, the story line is confusing and disjointed, and the rhyming text is awkward and a bit forced. The whole thing comes across more like a "lesson" on homonyms than a well-thought-out tale, a lesson that may be lost on the intended audience, as many preschoolers may not yet have come across the word "shower" used in this context. Stick with Edwards's Warthogs in the Kitchen (1998) and Warthogs Paint (2001, both Hyperion), clever concept books that have loads of child appeal.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Invited to attend a shower, Little Brown Hen mistakenly believes that means it is going to rain and takes her umbrella to keep her egg dry-causing a great deal of confusion and laughter on the farm. Teasing her about her umbrella, Duck, Goose, and Turkey ask if she is practicing to walk the tightrope in the circus. They go on to tell her that she is going to start a fashion trend and soon all the animals will be toting parasols. Turkey warns that if the wind picks up, it will whisk anyone holding an umbrella away. Arriving at the party, Brown Hen realizes her mistake and laughs along with the gentle teasing. The hatching of her chick in the middle of the party makes it the best shower ever. Whimsical watercolor paintings of the animals featured in the circus, holding umbrellas and being blown about by the wind, will keep young readers entertained. Brown Hen and her friends gently present a lesson on homonyms and the confusion they can cause. A silly story with a grammar lesson. (Picture Book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786804672
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.87 (w) x 8.87 (h) x 0.32 (d)

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