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Hen Hears Gossip Hardcover – April 22, 2008
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About the Author
Megan McDonald is the author of the Judy Moody books, which were New York Times bestsellers. Her picture books, including Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs!, the Reading Rainbow Book Is This a House for Hermit Crab?, and Insects Are My Life, are enormously popular. She lives in Sebastopol, California.
Joung Un Kim is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She has illustrated children's books ranging from young picture books to beginning readers, including Wings Across the Moon, Sumi's First Day of School Ever, and Duck Song. She lives in Anaheim, California.
Top Customer Reviews
The first time I read Hen Hears Gossip I wasn't really sure if I could use it. Actually, I wasn't really sure HOW to use it. It sort of reminded me of the telephone game. Where we all sit around in a circle, someone whispers a few short sentences in the ear of the next person and so on around the circle. When it got to the last person, they would announce what they heard. It usually never comes close to the original message, and is so distorted that we all have a really good laugh. So yes, this would be a great way to use the book. But then I read it again and totally figured out another angle based on a line from the story, "Gossip! Hen loved gossip!" A lot of people love gossip. Why? Why are we attracted to gossip? Why does Hen love it so much? She's a bit obsessed with gossiping. Maybe Hen has low self-esteem, maybe she thinks it's entertaining, or maybe she thinks this is part of friendship. Kids need to know gossip is toxic. Gossip has no purpose. And if we're running around talking in a hurtful manner about everyone - we need to take stock. I asked the students to give me a list of reasons of why gossiping would be a positive thing. They couldn't come up with anything. However, we ran out of room on the white board listing all of the negative things about gossip. If you use this book, I encourage you to explore Hen's "need" to gossip. And yes, the telephone game is always fun too but I try and take a serious tone on this subject with kids.
Goose ran off to tell Turkey her version of the tidbit. Turkey ran off to tell Hen that she heard she was "lazy, fat, and ate all the corn!" Oh, my! That was not at all true, but by the time Hen's message went full circle, it was altogether different from when she started. Trying to figure out just what happened Turkey and Hen started back through the trail of the gossip to find out just what went wrong. It turns out that Hen, the gal who loved gossip, overheard wrong and they all were in for a big surprise, to say nothing of learning that they should not spread gossip!
This simple tale relays an important lesson for children and adults alike. It tells them that gossip is not acceptable and can hurt and upset people (or in this case animals) when it is misinterpreted or twisted. The gentle illustrations are quaint and charming. This would be the perfect tale for read and discussion in a homeschool or classroom setting. Psst, psst, psst . . . let's try NOT to gossip!