Monday 9 January 2012

9. Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman

Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman
Published September 2011 Viking

From the publisher:

In this deceptively simple picture book, author-illustrator Deborah Freedman has created an irresistible character that springs to life and wreaks havoc in a farmyard with a pot of blue paint. The innocent chicken just wants to help, but things get worse and worse—and bluer and bluer—the more she tries. Playing with colors and perspective, and using minimal text, this richly layered story reveals new things to see and laugh about with each reading.

I really like picture books that start the story with the end papers, and Blue Chicken does just that.   We get a glimpse through a window of a wet day, with a grey sky and a grey barn.  Then the title page draws back and we are in a room, set up with a desk on which sits an unfinished painting of the view out of the window, the barn yet to be painted.  Before we even get to the fist page we see a curious chick pop it's head out of the painting.  Chaos then unfolds, as the chicken spills a pot of blue paint onto the unfinished painting, only to disturb all of the animals, who are not happy about being blue! 
This is not a new concept.  Books like "The Three Pigs" by David Wiesner and "Wait! No Paint!" by Bruce Whatley, all show the characters in their stories coming out of the pages and causing havoc, but it doesn't take away from it's appeal.  It's like watching naughty children who can't help but be drawn to the one thing that they probably shouldn't play with.
The only thing I had trouble with was the rhythme of the text, in some places it read really well, while in others I had to stop and re-read it in case I was missing something.

As far as I can tell this book isn't avialable in Australia yet, but I have found a link to a website called We Give Books where you can view the book online.  The website is a free website which gives books to children who need them.  You can read books for free online, and for every book you read, the organisation will donate a book to the charity/campaign of your choice,  Amazing!  It is an American initiative, the charities/campaigns who receive the free books are located both in the USA and globally and as targets are reached, new charities/campaigns are added.

To go to the We Give Books page CLICK HERE

To go straight to Blue Chicken CLICK HERE

Who will like this book: Girls and Boys Age 4+
Read it if you like: Wait! No Paint! by Bruce Whatley

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