cover image Chicken Man

Chicken Man

Michelle Edwards. HarperCollins Publishers, $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09708-0

In her first children's book, Edwards draws on her experience living on a kibbutz to create this portrait of a kind, goodnatured man. Known as Chicken Man, kibbutznik Rody is in charge of the chicken coops. His presence makes all the hens and roosters so happy that they are more productive than ever before, and eggs are always plentiful. Chicken Man is quite distressed when the new work list is posted and he is assigned to a different job. But whatever task Rody performs--ironing clothes, tending to the gardens or caring for a houseful of wild children--he does it cheerfully and competently. The chickens in the coop are less adaptable: they miss Chicken Man so much that they stop laying eggs. But all ends happily when the bighearted fellow returns--for good--to his brood. Along with her lighthearted story, Edwards offers an informative look at kibbutz life. Her stylized paintings are dotted with diverting details. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)