Great Illustrated Books

The Chicken of the Family

By Mary Amato, illustrated by Delphine Durand

Putnam Juvenile, 2008
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 5-8
ISBN: 9780399241963

As the youngest of three, I put up with all sorts of teasing and tricks when I was a wee chick, so I completely identified with Henrietta, the smallest of three sisters in this satisfying tale of gullibility and chickens coming home to roost. "We have a secret to tell you," oldest sister Kim confides to Henrietta before bed one night. "You're a chicken. Mom got you from Barney's farm." Kim and Clare claim that they have to pluck out Henrietta's new-grown feathers every morning, and that's why they get more allowance than she does. And the eggs they eat every morning? Kim says, "We get them from you." What if her sisters are telling her the truth? "I am not a chicken," she chants to herself under the covers. But in the morning, what's that in her bed? That's right—an egg. And there, on the floor by the bed, are two brown feathers. Stunned, Henrietta marches down to Barney's henhouse down the road and announces to the chickens, "It's me. I'm home." When her sisters come to get her, she tells them, "I like being a chicken. These chickens are nicer to me than you guys are."

Reviewed by :


If you love this book, then try:

Blumenthal, Deborah. Don't Let the Peas Touch!: And Other Stories. Scholastic, 2004.

DiCamillo, Kate. Louise: The Adventures of a Chicken. HarperCollins/Joanna Cotler, 2008.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Say What? Simon & Schuster, 2004.

Harrington, Janice N. The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County. Farrar/Melanie Kroupa, 2007.

Lerner, Harriet, and Susan Goldhor. What's So Terrible about Swallowing an Apple Seed? HarperCollins, 1996.

McGhee, Alison. Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth. Harcourt, 2004.

Van Allsburg, Chris. Probuditi! Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

Critics have said

The chickens welcome her with open wings, and this lovably gullible heroine's joyful acceptance of who she really is will have readers squawking with laughter.