From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4–A shrewd observation of human nature, this tale combines elements of "Chicken Little" and the game of Telephone. After a chicken loses a feather while grooming herself, she notes aloud how her plucking has contributed to her beauty. The tongue-in-cheek narration, which is amusing in its modernity, describes how the comment is seized and passed along, becoming ever more dramatic as it travels. Overheard by Mama Owl, the tale is relayed to the pigeon house, crowed by the rooster, picked up by the bats, and finally returned to the original coop. In its final form, it features five chickens, madly plucking "to prove which one of them wasted away the most because of their love for the rooster." The bold, flat acrylic images, outlined in black, are presented in framed sequences that vary in size and frequency. This design suggests a newsreel or newspaper account. Key phrases are enlarged and printed in white against the vivid backgrounds, furthering the effect. One of Andersen's lesser-known works, the tale last appeared as It's Perfectly True!
(Holiday, 1988; o.p.), illustrated by Janet Stevens. Children in the primary grades are just the right age to understand the effects of gossip and to learn to question what they hear and read. Either version provides a memorable vehicle for that message.–Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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About the Author
Hans Christian Andersen is Denmarks most highly acclaimed writer. His works are known and translated around the world.
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