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Monday, December 01, 2008

Get CLUCK-y!

As I mentioned a looooooong time ago, I wrote a book called CHICKEN BUTT! (not to be confused with my other chicken book, CHICKEN BEDTIME IS REALLY EARLY, which is butt-free, linguistically speaking) and the good folks at Abrams worked their tails off to publish it in style.

Well, you know what? CHICKEN BUTT! is NOW available for pre-order on Amazon! Henry Cole’s illustrations are a huge treat. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

Meanwhile, if your appetite for chicken-themed children’s books has been whetted, have I got a book for you.

It is TILLIE LAYS AN EGG, by Terry Golson (photography by Ben Fink) and it is brand new from Scholastic Press. It just got a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which means that it really doesn’t need my help BUT I’m going to offer it anyway.

This is a sweet and funny book about a chicken (one of seven owned by the author, who is also the author of The Farmstead Egg Cookbook among other culinary titles) who bucks the trend of waiting for a turn in the nesting box and sets off daily for greener pastures to lay her egg. In photographs, we see her all over the farm, exploring as only a chicken would (mistaking shoelaces for worms in one spread) and leaving her mark, egg-wise, on the landscape.

TILLIE has an appealingly cozy, retro feel. In part, this is because of the vintage decor - several of the bright, sunny scenes are reminiscent of “I Spy” books because in addition to hunting for Tillie’s eggs, readers can spot antique toys, chicken-themed tschotchkes, and fabulous fifties fabrics. It is also because photographs are so rarely used to illustrate modern children’s books, especially fictional ones (if you like them, visit your local library for a trip down memory lane… The Lonely Doll, anyone?). Golson and Fink have collaborated on a book that children and adults will enjoy reading and rereading (my kids sure did). The chicken’s-eye-view perspective adds to its considerable charm. All in all, TILLIE is a good egg.

Hope everyone had a good Turkey Day. Keep on clucking!

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