The Featherless Chicken

Chih-Yuan Chen, Author . Heryin $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-9762056-9-2

Chen (Guji Guji ) brings out an equally pleasingly ridiculous fable about differences. This time, the misfit character is a chicken with no feathers and a terrible allergy to pollen. Four fancy chickens, "the most beautiful" he's ever seen, scorn the bald fellow, then mistake him for an entirely new chicken after a strong wind leaves the hero plastered with leaves and trash. "I've never seen such a gorgeous chicken," says one of the in crowd, and they ask the trash-plastered chicken to go boating with them. When his allergies produce a powerful sneeze, the boat tips over, and the costumes of the other four fall off, revealing a secret they've been keeping, and their arrogance disappears with their finery into the depths of the lake. While the googly eyes and droopy wings of the chickens are classic cartoon fare, Chen creates outfits made of wildly imaginative flowers whose petals are butterfly wings, architectural flourishes and ordinary roman letters. The trash costume will produce the biggest guffaws: the featherless chicken finds himself adorned with a fork, a scrap of printed paper, a lovely ink curlicue, all topped off with a soup can hat. Chen never lets his moral lessons get in the way of a good time. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/18/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Discover what to read next