cover image Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck

Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck

Brian Yanish, illus. by Jess Pauwels. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4926-6520-5

Lily the chicken is a voracious reader and restless thinker (she tries to explain cold fusion to her uncomprehending coopmates) who “knew she was meant for more,” writes Yanish (ScrapKins: Junk Re-Thunk). So when pirates kidnap her and her fellow chickens, Lily doesn’t hide or resist. She studies the pirates’ every move, and when they next go ashore, she takes over the ship, deputizes the other chickens as her own crew of buccaneers, and dubs herself Redfoot. But with great power comes a very big head—not only does Redfoot order her flock to pillage and steal, she eats most of the food and assigns difficult homework (“Why do I have to do homework if I’m a chicken?” one of the birds asks). The mutinous chickens make her walk the plank, and Lily in turn walks back her ambitions—for the moment, anyway. It’s an amusing spoof with an unstoppable feathered force at its center, and high-spirited cartoons by Pauwels (Whobert Whover, Owl Detective) offer all the requisite visual nudges for it—her chickens look quite dashing in their pirate gear. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Jennifer Unter, Unter Agency. Illustrator’s agent: James Burns, Bright USA. (Mar.) [/em]