Chickerella by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
(Suggested reading level: Ages 4 -8 )
I talked about Cinderella the other day and then ran across this farmyard retelling at the library. Amber (10) did not read it with me. It’s below her reading level and we’re in the middle of Harriet the Spy, but more important she hates chickens and this book is full of them. The illustrations are actually photos of stuffed chicken mannequins made with clay, yarn, feathers and fabric.
Chickerella’s mother was killed by a fox and her father marries a hen with two daughters who shows up from another farm. This stepmother sends Chickerella’s father on a wild goose chase and he never returns. Chickerella, true to the story, is forced to be the servant of the household. For some reason, the water she drinks makes her lay glass eggs. Some time later, a Fowl Ball is held (yes, the book is chock-full of bad puns). Chickerella is told she can’t go, but thankfully her Fairy Goosemother shows up, gives her a gorgeous dress and calls a cab for her. After the ball the Prince tracks her down and they discover that they both love fashion.
So the Fairy Goosemother zapped up some fabulous fabrics, Chickerella cut and stitched, and the prince designed stylish shoes to match. That’s how they started the fashion line called Chickerella.
To be honest, I found this book creepy. The chicken mannequins were gaudy which made sense, but also freakish. I didn’t like them. Then there’s the whole laying a glass egg on the palace steps on her way out of the ball. Odd.
As she dashed out the door, she felt an egg coming on. “I can’t stop to lay an egg!”
But there’s no holding back an egg that’s on its way, especially a slippery glass one.
Maybe it’s because I’m not a kid and wasn’t reading it with a child, but I didn’t like it. At least it’s short.
First published 2005
Challenges: 100+, A to Z
My copy was borrowed from the library and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.