cover image Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

David Macaulay. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-44241-8

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The two-time Caldecott Honor winner is too wise to try to answer that question but ventures to demonstrate the circularity and the humor of the ensuing anomaly. When the chicken crosses the road it triggers a domino effect of events that involve, among others, some cows, an ancient bridge, a passing train, dining-car passengers, an outlaw, a golden watch, melted ice . . . and readers end up at the beginning again; the chicken, first a prime mover, is now merely a consequence. Macaulay's story shows a justified and true belief in the fun, innocence and irony inherent in the turning of the wheel. This, undoubtedly will delight children and confuse adults. His art, for those familiar with Macaulay's highly realistic black-and-white drawings, is this time flushed with color and zaniness, demonstrating a vaudevillian's canny timing with a sensational round of rapid-fire action. All ages. (September)