I interrupt this review so the little jackrabbit and I can say thanks (“Go on give it to them now. Yes, the note!”) again for all the kind words of encouragement on my entry for Susanna’s illustration contest (see all the finalist covers HERE). Now, let’s read a book…
Author/Illustrator: Jean-François Dumont
Publisher: Eerdmans, 2013); Originally published in French by Flammarion, in 2011, Une poule derriére un mur.
Themes: chickens, farm animals, toleration
Opening: On the farm, the chickens have built a wall, though no one is exactly sure why.
Summary: (from my library catalog) When a friendly hedgehog visits the farm, the chickens build an enormous wall to keep out “prickly invaders.” I like this book: It MUST be spring, because I had to review another farm-life book! And because the rat calls the hedgehog, “this chestnut with paws.” The traditional art is humorous and cartoon-like, created in warm colors and richly textured strokes. The story is one of tolerance, or the lack thereof. No one had ever seen a hedgehog before. I wish I could share this with my 19 yr old, as she has recently experienced some 2nd hand intolerance while shopping with her new college besties in Germany. One is from Nigeria, the other from Brazil, and my daughter was shocked to see a couple bend 90° in a not-to-be-mistaken what’s-up-with-the-dreadlocks glance. I’m happy that she was able to experience this, to better understand what her ‘foreign looking’ colleagues go through every day. Resources/activities: sing Old MacDonald – again!; discuss tolerance and acceptance – please!; get crazy and build a chicken coop, maybe even one like the one below (don’t forget to get some chickens too!) For more really cool chicken coop ideas, click HERE; Check out the other books on the 2014 list of Notable Books for a Global Society – HERE
For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.