Saturday, August 29, 2015

Class Act: Module 1: Books About Reading- The Plot Chickens by MaryJane and Herm Auch

As y'all know, I'm a Library Science student at University of North Texas. This semester I have the pleasure of taking an AWESOME class called Literature for Youth! One of the things we have to do is read some books from a list my Prof has provided us and then make up a blog and post reviews over what we've read. CLEARLY this is right up my alley! So, instead of making a completely different blog, every Saturday I'm going to start posting this new feature! 

Books about Reading

Hardcover, 32 pages
Released: February 1, 2009
Published by: Holiday House
Source: Library

Book Summary: Henrietta loves reading, but some people think chickens can't read. After she convinces them she can, she checks out the library and reads to all her aunts. But then one day she decides this isn't enough. She wants to write her own book. As she writes, she tells her aunts the rules of how to write the "perfect story."

Reference: Auch, M., & Auch, H. (2009). the plot chickens. New York: Holiday House. Retrieved August 29, 2015.


     I picked this one off the list because the title sounded really cool. It had a super cool pun paired with a part of a book. I knew it would come out to be very cute. 
     As it turns out, I was right. It put a lot of emphasis on reading and ways to make it fun. It showed her checking out books from the library and meeting her local librarian, and reading with her aunts. But my favorite thing about the book was the pictures that accompanied it. They were bright and I thought it was cute how the illustrator portrayed the chickens as people. 
     When Henreitta decides that  she is going to write her own book, she is determined to write  a great story. Her aunts continue to give their input, but she is only focused on certain "Rules" she has to make sure she hits in her story. I liked the fact that although they were trying to make it funny for kids, they still had some great points they hit. 
     I loved the pictures, the writing, and above all else I loved the emphasis it gave on how fun reading is. As a future librarian, I will be sure to use this as one of the books I model towards smaller children to ensure their love for reading keeps growing. 
Overall, I give this 

Professionals are saying:

School Library Journal
( March 01, 2009; 9780823420872 )

K-Gr 2-Henrietta the chicken, star
of Souperchicken (Holiday House, 2003), is an avid library user and decides that because reading is so much fun, "writing books must be eggshilarating." She finds a manual of writing rules and creates her own story-with the unsolicited help of the other fowl. When it is rejected by a publisher, Henrietta decides to self-publish. She takes a copy to her librarian, who tells her to send it to The Corn Book Magazine for review. Henrietta gets another rejection: "odoriferous." Then she wanders into the library at storytime and sees that her book was chosen best of the year by the children. Henrietta is asked to read it aloud. "She read with dramatic expression. Of course, all the children heard was BUK, BUK,
BUK.." The illustrations, a combination of oil paints and digital technology, are bold and colorful. The pictures are busy, with Henrietta at her typewriter while her friends cavort around her. There are imagined scenes in cloud shapes, word balloons, and jokes aplenty. A droll chicken with a repeating line adds to the humor. This offering works on two levels. It's a funny picture book that could be used as a manual on writing.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Reference: School Library Journal (2009).the plot chickens. Review [The Plot Chickens by M.J & Auch]. I. Bates. School Library Journal 55(3), p. 105-106. Retrieved from:  on August 29, 2015.

Library Uses: 

     In a school library setting, I would use this to help children of any age how to write a story. With her rules, it could even be made into a game, where everyone writes their own story, much like the one Henrietta wrote, with only those points. In a library setting with younger kids, I would let do a collective story from everyone by making this a large paper and letting them fill in everything. I would use different students for each one to make the story more interesting. I would also use this book as a model, to help show children that reading is fun and they should do it more. 
Book Image From:


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