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The Problem With Chickens (New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (Awards)) Hardcover – September 26, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3–Set in Iceland, this story is about a community of resourceful women who travel to the city to buy a flock of chickens so that eggs are plentiful in the village. However, the chickens run amok and begin to behave more like ladies than birds. Before long, they stop laying eggs. The resilient women develop a far-fetched plan to solve the problem and the merriment swells to a final, hilarious resolution. The playful text is both silly and joyous, without a wasted word. Gunnella's enchanting oil paintings are full of childlike humor and saturated with appealing primary colors. They convey emotion and absurdity with seemingly simple lines and expressive body language. These spirited, buxom ladies and beguiling chickens will be remembered long after the book has been closed. A funny and inventive choice that is also a charming tribute to Icelandic culture and tradition.–Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. McMillan makes a successful departure from his many noted photo-essays, such as Nights of the Pufflings (1995). Sticking to a bird theme, he has created a simple, humorous tale about chickens with pretensions of becoming women. The village ladies are frustrated because they cannot reach the eggs the wild birds lay on the sides of cliffs. Little do they suspect that the chickens they buy will hatch a new set of problems. The hens decide to do everything the ladies do--pick blueberries, go to birthday parties, have tea--until they are too busy to lay eggs. A fine artist and first-time children's book illustrator, Gunnella makes the transition to picture books quite well: the rotund ladies and irrepressible hens, portrayed in flat, colorful, thickly painted folk-art style, aptly complement the tone of the story. Diane Foote
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618585818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618585816
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Grace Talon on February 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of my three-year-old daughter's favorite books. The expressions on the faces of the ladies, who are caring for some upstart chickens, are so funny and endearing. And you can't help but admire the ladies' pluck and creativity in solving their unusual problem. Also, the drawings of the Icelandic landscape are beautiful and make me yearn to see it for real someday.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By rosemary naerbo on July 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have many of Bruce McMillan's stories each of them stands alone as wonderful additions to a class library. Especially the Problem with Chickens, it was clever, kind and funny. My class of third graders loved it. It is a class favorite now.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ann c. maclean on September 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my grand children's favorite books. Ages four to seven. Great illustrations and artwork. Would recommend to anyone interested in books for this age group.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael T. Ashby on October 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Delightful book! Well put together, superb graphics, highly recommended for both children and for collectors of illustrated children books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rita M. Callery on July 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is for a 7 year old August birthday so I have been reading it before I give it ....very good illustrations and funny story child will find hilarious!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CC-J on July 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
NY Times Best Illustrated and delightful read for elementary child. Also serves well as a 'read to me' story. Illustrations keep child engaged.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By W. Fieldhouse on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Really good book for the younger set. Even as an adult I found it intersting and funny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable. Only problem is kindle reader can't decide best way to display the pictures and text (often two sets of text). Picture e-books still not as good as a real picture book.
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The Problem With Chickens (New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (Awards))
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