Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken

Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken

4.5 4
by Kate DiCamillo, Harry Bliss
     
 

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She longed for adventure.

So she left her home and ventured out into the wide world.

The pleasures and perils she met proved plentiful: marauding pirates on the majestic seas, a ferocious lion under the bright lights of the big top, a mysterious stranger in an exotic and bustling bazaar.

Yet in the face of such daunting danger, our heroine . . .

She

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Overview

She longed for adventure.

So she left her home and ventured out into the wide world.

The pleasures and perils she met proved plentiful: marauding pirates on the majestic seas, a ferocious lion under the bright lights of the big top, a mysterious stranger in an exotic and bustling bazaar.

Yet in the face of such daunting danger, our heroine . . .

She was brave.

She was fearless.

She was feathered.

She was a chicken.

A not-so-chicken chicken.

Her name?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Newbery Medalist DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux) joins forces with the formidably talented Bliss (Diary of a Worm) for a series of ripping yarns about a chicken who just can't stay down on the farm. By the time the book reaches its fourth and final chapter (and that word is used more to evoke the book's swashbuckling scale than to indicate a preponderance of text), the indomitable Louise has seen it all and done it all, from escaping pirates on storm-tossed high seas to joining the circus-and she's been envisioned as a tasty dish by just about everyone. Not surprisingly, while Louise relishes her wanderlust, she also experiences Weltschmerz -here's the hen contemplating the circus: "Safe in a clown's wig, hidden beneath his hat, Louise thought of the henhouse and what a quiet, spectacularly lion-free place it was." DiCamillo's brisk, comic narrative crackles with read-aloud savoriness, and her respect for Louise makes the book all the funnier. And where lesser artists might have packed lots of visual nudge-nudges, Bliss creates a thrilling sense of place and puts his wide-eyed heroine front and center. An enlarged format does justice to the details in the art-and to the grand sweep of the storytelling. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

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Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
It is not that surprising that fans of Kate DiCamillo's very different Newbery winning Tale of Despereaux and Newbery honor Because of Winn-Dixie books will find that her entry into the picture book market is sui generis in many ways — it is written like chapter book but presents as a 10x11 picture book; it offers the tale of a heroic chicken in a most tongue-in-cheek fashion, as Louise faces off with pirates, lions, and mysterious strangers; and in the end, Louise decides, as so many juvenile classics do, that the very best thing to do is to be who you are, The charming but very ironic tone and the complexity of the text as a kind of "chapter" book" make it likely that most preschoolers will find it hard to know what to make of this story, despite the publisher's age target recommendation; however, children about to leave primary school and many adults are likely to love the slightly arch approach, and those who already love DiCamillo's work may well delight in this book. Bliss's illustrations are a perfect compliment to the delightful but sophisticated story of Louise. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

A picture book in four chapters in which a thrill-seeking chicken repeatedly leaves the warm security of her henhouse seeking excitement. She is captured by hungry pirates, survives a sinking ship, joins the circus, narrowly escapes a lion, is caged with other chickens, picks the lock with her beak, and liberates her fellow captives. Back home in her barnyard, Louise enthralls her sister chickens with the story of her grand exploits, until all fall asleep tucked safely in their henhouse, having felt the vicarious frisson of adventure. In the nicely patterned telling, DiCamillo ends each of Louise's escapades with an old hen asking her where she has been. "Oh, here and there," is Louise's casual answer. Each new chapter begins with the bold brooder still eager to embark anew. Bliss's illustrations depict the settings of Louise's capers in vague antique worlds with various backdrops and in various eras. On every spread, Louise's bright white feathers and brilliant red cockscomb will stand out and draw the eyes of young readers. Smart choices in book design allow for an oversize book that suits its larger-than-life heroine, and vertical spreads that capture Louise's circus high-wire walk to maximum visual effect. This is a jolly metaphor for the stages of childhood in which young children long for short-lived independence and exploration always within the reassuring bounds of a secure home and family.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060755546
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/23/2008
Pages:
56
Sales rank:
265,957
Product dimensions:
10.22(w) x 11.36(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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