The Books

The Problem With Chickens (New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (Awards))

by Bruce McMillan

Hardcover, 32 pages

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers (2005-09-26)

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Amazon Description

The ladies of Iceland have a problem: the birds lay their eggs in nooks on the sides of steep cliffs, so the ladies have a very difficult time getting any of the eggs for baking. They go to town to buy chickens to lay eggs for them instead. For a while, everyone is happy: there are plenty of eggs to bake plenty of yummy things. But the ladies' problems are far from solved, for the more time the chickens spend with the ladies, the more they begin to act like them too, until eventually they stop laying eggs all together. Now this is a problem indeed, but you can be sure, the clever ladies will find a solution. Full of fun and silliness, this lighthearted tale and vibrant illustrations are a delight.

One Potato Review

Is this the sort of fable they tell in Iceland? Where chickens start acting like the ladies who farm them – too fussy, too clever, too soft – and then everyone commits themselves to a little yoga, some free weights, until the chickens remember what it is to be birds – flying and laying eggs – and the ladies learn how to climb mountains, and get out more? What does this tell us? About ourselves? Probably nothing. But those Icelanders sure know how to have a good time.

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