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Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens [Kindle Edition]

Lauren Scheuer
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $22.99
Kindle Price: $15.99
You Save: $7.00 (30%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
This price was set by the publisher

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Book Description

When longtime illustrator and lover of power tools Lauren Scheuer was looking for a project, she got the idea to raise backyard chickens. Her husband and teenage daughter looked on incredulously as coop sketches and chicken-raising books filled their New England home. But when the chicks arrived, the whole family fell in love with the bundles of fluff and the wild adventures began.

Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens stars Scheuer’s backyard chickens—with their big personalities, friendships, rivalries, and secrets—and the flock’s guardian, Marky the terrier. The flock includes Hatsy, the little dynamo; Lil’White, the deranged and twisted Buff Orpington; Pigeon, the fixer-upper chicken; and Lucy, the special-needs hen who bonds with Lauren and becomes a fast friend.

This charming story of Lauren’s life with her quirky flock is filled with moments of humor and heartbreak: When Lucy is afflicted with a neurological disease, Lauren builds Lucy a special-needs coop. When Lucy’s nesting instinct leads

Lauren to act as a chicken midwife of sorts, Lauren hatches a chick in her home. And when Lucy’s best friend Hatsy falls ill, Lauren finds an unlikely friend for Lucy in a chicken named Pigeon, who requires an emergency bath and blow-dry. Enthusiastically immersing herself in the world of her flock, Lauren discovers that love, loss, passion, and resilience are not only parts of the human experience, but of the chicken experience as well. Throughout it all, Lauren documents the laughter and drama of her flock’s adventures with her own whimsical photos and illustrations. At once humorous, poignant, and informative, Once Upon a Flock is a feathered tale like no other.

Editorial Reviews


"Lauren Scheuer is a writer of immense warmth who beautifully captures the quirks, comedy, and drama of backyard chickens. You will love Lucy, Hatsy, and the other amusing characters of her flock. You will love Marky the dog and Danny the husband. But most of all you will love Lauren and her gentle and generous soul. This remarkable interspecies family will make you laugh, will touch your heart, and -- yes, believe it -- just might make you cry. Once Upon a Flock is a celebration of all that is sweet and simple and pure in life." (John Grogan, author of Marley & Me and The Longest Trip Home)

“This book is like a cool breath of fresh air on a hot summer day. It’s full of delight, whimsy, joy, and hilarity, yet it goes much deeper than that. Each member of this little flock has her own personality traits, quirks, preferences, and logic. Some are compassionate and nurturing, others are competitive and mean-spirited. With her photos and drawings throughout the book, Scheuer entertains, teaches, and captivates the reader. You will learn more about chickens than you ever thought possible, and will fall in love with them along the way. I highly recommend this book!” (Stacey O’Brien, author of Wesley the Owl)

“Part memoir, part photo album, part comic book, Once Upon a Flock is wholly delightful—as are all the distinctive, compelling individual chickens you’ll come to know and love in these pages. I loved it!” (Sy Montgomery, author of Birdology and The Good Good Pig)

“From the first page, Lauren Scheuer and her flock are the next-door neighbors you wish you had. She is witty, charming, and constantly delighted by the antics of her backyard hens. This is the book I wish I'd read when I brought my first chicks home from the feed store. As an artist and as a writer, Lauren perfectly captures the joy and heartache of backyard chicken-keeping. Whether you're raising a flock yourself or only dreaming of it, you'll love this book.” (Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Bugs and Wicked Plants)

“Once Upon a Flock has a clear message: Chickens are people, too. They form bonds, have spats, make new friends and even fall in love. Prepare to be charmed and even moved by the story of these birds, so much so, you might find yourself the proud owner of a couple of chicks.” (Tamara Staples, author of The Fairest Fowl and The Magnificent Chicken)

About the Author

Lauren Scheuer writes the popular blog “Scratch and Peck.” A UCLA graduate and freelance illustrator, she lives in Massachusetts with her family and her chickens. You can find out more at

Product Details

  • File Size: 22394 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (March 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J2AG2I
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,440 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When you have an author that truly touches your soul, there are always mixed feelings when a new book or blog post arrives. "Hooray!" is the first reaction, followed by the tiniest bit of anxiety that we've built up this person's work so highly in our heads that the reality couldn't possibly be all that we are hoping.

Lauren's blog, Scratch and Peck, is such a huge favorite with me that I had some of those feelings when learning she was releasing a book. I love her blog format, which mixes photographs, illustrations, and text in the perfect ratios to tell her story sweetly, clearly, and with a hint of magic. Surely in this day of low publishing budgets, she wouldn't be able to write a book that includes color illustrations and photographs on every page? How would she tell her story in just the right way if publishing constraints made her change what is so magical about her format?

I needn't have worried. Upon receiving Once Upon a Flock in the mail (I had it pre-ordered!) I flipped through right away and was overjoyed to see the same type of beautiful illustrations mixed with photographs that you see on her blog. Lauren writes for a paragraph or so, then uses her sweet, soulful illustrations to enhance the stories she's telling about her life, her chickens, and her dog Marky.

If you're unsure of what to expect from Lauren's style, you can check out her blog Scratch and Peck. While there is a tiny bit of overlap between the stories she shares on her blog and the story found in the book, the book felt like an entirely fresh experience (and I have read every post on the blog).

I can't overstate how much I enjoyed reading this. I own chickens myself, so a lot of the stories she shared are ones that I could relate to.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A love story like no other..... April 8, 2013
If you are wondering what it is about the backyard/small-flock revolution going on today, this absolutely charming book will spell it out for you. For those of us already in this mess, you can't put it down. Your mind keeps saying "Yes!" and "YES!!!" again and again. And you find you have fallen in love with her hens as well as your own, again. And if you as yet do not have hens, you will find yourself wanting to adopt a family of girls for yourselves. This is a book to enjoy alone, with your family and with your hens, too! Lauren deeply loves her accidental second family. She pinpoints precisely the moment that she realized she had been changed forever. I remembered along with her, as I was reading, the same moment for me when I had my long since gone Divine, a beautiful Leghorn, lovingly settle up next to me and I knew I could never eat chicken again. Lauren has mastered writing as well as illustration. Both compliment each other all through this book. I won't spoil one of the nuggets of this book, except to say that Lauren captures the truth about real love: it is indeed a horse or a bicycle that you unwaveringly get right back up on. And I'm sure Pigeon is forever emblazoned in our hearts as a result. It made me love Lauren for the wonderful heart she is; a place I'm sure everyone reading this book will find themselves. One reservation is that this book will get worn out from repeated reads far too soon, and a second copy will be in the cards. Wabi-sabi aside, my only real reservation was that it ended too soon. BUT, paradoxically, it ended at exactly where it needed to end. I found that kindred spirit in seeing that everything really important to the reader is right in your back yard. Maybe that's what it is for hen people, like myself. You cant ever get enough. And it is, at the same time, all you need. Time spent with your hens as well as with this fabulous book is time spent well, indeed! Congratulations, Lauren.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flock Rocks! March 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not just for chicken lovers, this is an excellent example of story structure and giving voice to seemingly non-verbal animals. Once Upon a Flock could stand alone as a beautiful funny recounting of Lauren's life with chickens. The superb photographs and illustrations just add another level of warmth and depth. Anyone who has ever nurtured and raised another from 'egg' to 'adult' will enjoy the ups and downs of this whimsical and sometimes poignant book.
Lauren's chickens are part of her flock and I'm sure you'll want to make them part of yours.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a little love can do! October 23, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My husband did not read the book, but ordered it for me (his wife). I love the book for its humor, and dedicated compassion towards the chickens, and the lessons learned by the authors daughter, and family dog. The author's entire family made the chickens a family project, and love and respect for the birds came shining through. R. Nesbit
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She tells it like it is.... March 21, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lovely little illustrations sprinkled throughout the book along with real photographs of the girls. Having chicken myself I felt as though she told my story as well. If you are thinking of getting chickens or have them this book is a blessing to have along side. Enjoyed the stories as well as the pictures. Quick read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read March 21, 2013
By Chris
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lauren's artistic talent makes this book shine. Her own sketches, as well as personal photos, help to share the story of her and her flock. You feel like you're there, standing beside her as she goes through these life experiences.

A great read for those who love animals of any kind, not just chickens.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!!
Love this book! I am a chicken owner and can relate but even if you're not Lauren's stories and pictures are fantastic! I will be buying more for my friends as gifts! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customerqane
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fun book with photos and drawings
Arrived on time and in promised condition.
Very fun book with photos and drawings. A summertime reading delight!
Published 4 months ago by A. K. Gomez
5.0 out of 5 stars I have never liked chickens- I worked with them in HS as an ...
I am reading this book now and totally loving it! I have never liked chickens- I worked with them in HS as an FFA Aggie, shoveling an insane amount of chicken poo, and on Kibbutzim... Read more
Published 4 months ago by elisse
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nice clean, crisp book -just as described. Thanks!
Published 5 months ago by Linda Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars It looked less like a dry
With three baby chicks on the way through mail order, I picked out this book from a number of chicken-raising book options. It looked less like a dry, factual read and more fun. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Barbara Bullington
5.0 out of 5 stars My mom's special request to possess, so I bought ...
My mom's special request to possess, so I bought it for her. Out of many hundreds of books she's read lately, this is the only one she wanted to keep as a physical book.
Published 6 months ago by DaySleeper
4.0 out of 5 stars What a fun read for a backyard chicken lover like me
What a fun read for a backyard chicken lover like me. So many fun and funny experiences that really capture the surprising aspects of life with chickens. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Natural Health Doc
5.0 out of 5 stars Buff Orpington, Buff Orpington, Buff Orpington
Lauren Scheuer’s Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens is a very sweet book about owning a small flock of chickens. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jane Easterly
5.0 out of 5 stars very good read
I got this as a gift for my wife & she loves it. if you have or like chickens, this is a great read.
Published 7 months ago by Charles M. Kopenhafer
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a funny flock...
Very funny, educational and a fun read..I never knew chickens could be so much fun! I will definitely recommend it to other new chicken lovers.
Published 7 months ago by alicia ocanas
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