cover image Purim Chicken

Purim Chicken

Margery Cuyler, illus. by Puy Pinillos. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-3381-9

Cuyler’s (Skeleton for Dinner) punny barnyard tale is well suited to the playfulness of Purim. Cluck the chicken is initially disappointed when she is passed over for the role of Queen Esther in the animals’ Purim play, and instead consigned to the audience. But Cluck’s efforts to develop an extra-loud cluck to shout at Haman during the play come in handy after the show’s star, Quack, is duck-napped by a fox. Pinillos’s (Look! Fish!) vibrant, painterly images amplify the off-kilter mood of the plot. Whether the dialogue elicits groans or giggles may depend on the family (“ ‘What bad moos,’ mooed Moo”), but it’s undeniably fun to read out loud. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Plum Pudding Illustration. (Jan.)