Once upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens

Lauren Scheuer, Author
Lauren Scheuer. Atria, $24 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4516-9870-1
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 03/19/2013
Ebook - 227 pages - 978-0-285-64236-2
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4516-9875-6
Hardcover - 243 pages - 978-0-285-64235-5
Hardcover - 243 pages - 978-0-285-64278-2
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Though readers may not associate chickens with empathy, this delightful book will likely change such opinions. After Scheuer, a children’s book illustrator who writes the blog Scratch and Peck, decided to introduce chicks to her rural Massachusetts backyard, the rewards of raising them to adulthood (with her husband and teenage daughter) far outpaced her minimal expectations, offering “hilarity and drama and life.” Her keen eye for subtle interactions enabled her to clearly delineate the distinct characters of Hatsy, Little White, Lucy, and Jenny, compelling the reader to invest in each bird, and in their ups and downs almost as intensely as Scheuer did. With frequent examples of selflessness—a chicken slowing its pace to match an ill comrade, or staying outside in the terrifying nighttime darkness to keep another company—the author pre-empts any criticism that she’s just anthropomorphized her beloved animals. This must-have for animal lovers also features Scheuer’s drawings, which along with photographs, enhance the endearing text. Illus. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore and Company. (Mar.)
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