Henny doesn't know what to do. Every morning the irksome gnomelike Tomten steals her egg and takes it home to cook in his kettle and gobble up for breakfast. But when she sees Goosey-Goosey sailing by with a gaggle of goslings, Henny is suddenly galvanized to do something
. Will she never have chicks of her own? She consults her wise friend Hedgie the Hedgehog, who comes up with a clever plan guaranteed to give the Tomten a sharp lesson in appropriate behavior.
Jan Brett's trademark illustrations--detailed watercolors bordered by intricate needlepoint patterns---capture the charm and mischief of this Scandinavian-style folk tale set in Denmark. Each wide woven margin shows a hint in miniature of upcoming events: Hedgie crawling under Henny's brooding basket, or the enraged Tomten after being outwitted. Young readers will love guessing what Hedgie has up his proverbial sleeve, and will rejoice with Henny at the unusual hatching of her first brood of chicks. A warm, humorous, 100 percent satisfying story by the creator of many picture book favorites, such as The Hat and The Mitten. (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Brett's (The Mitten; The Hat) trademark, elaborately bordered paintings are once again the centerpiece of her latest tale set in timeless rural Scandinavia. And, as in her prior works, the author's endearingly expressive animal characters, depicted in meticulous detail, steal the show. After viewing Goosey-Goosey's brood of chicks, Henny the hen longs for her very own offspring. But each morning a greedy, elf-like "Tomten" steals her newly laid egg, insisting he needs "a little yummy for my hungry, hungry tummy." Henny awakens her friend, Hedgie the hedgehog, with a loud wail, "No eggs, no chicks, no peeping babies," and he offers to help Henny put a stop to the Tomten's thievery. On successive days, her pal plants in Henny's nest an acorn, a strawberry, a mushroom, a potato andAin the ultimate deceitAhides himself in the straw, rolled into a ball, which sends the rogue running after he picks up the prickly fellow. Thanks to Hedgie's cleverness, five eggs hatch into fluffy chicks, fulfilling Henny's wish for a family of her own. Youngsters will be happily diverted by the busy goings-on in both Brett's mainframe illustrations and elegant borders, which feature a red-and-white needlepoint background and egg-shaped spot art that tactically foreshadows the narrative. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
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