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Review of Chicken in Space

lehrhaupt_chicken in spaceChicken in Space
by Adam Lehrhaupt; 
illus. by Shahar Kober
Preschool, Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp.
5/16    978-0-06-236412-8    $17.99

Launching with a dramatic and intriguing start (“Zoey wasn’t like the other chickens. She had dreams. She had a plan. She had a pig”), this farm-fresh picture book trails Zoey as she boldly marches through the pages in her aviator’s cap, heading for outer space. Henry the dog, Pip the mouse, and Clara the cow all manage to deflect her invitations to join the expedition, but Sam the pig follows loyally along: “Zoey always finds a way,”  Zoey improvises a spaceship with a basket and some helium balloons, and she and Sam take off. The two don’t get far before they are hit by a baseball (Zoey calls it an asteroid), tangle with a kite (a comet), and finally come crashing down after an encounter with some sharp-beaked birds (alien attack ships!). Bright, digital illustrations on spacious double-page spreads extend the comically exaggerated personalities of the animal characters and their situations and surroundings. Heedless Zoey and pie-obsessed Sam complement each other well throughout the story. After a perfect crash landing, Sam regales all the other wide-eyed animals with the exciting tales of their outer-space exploits. He gives Zoey all the credit…and she gives him a moon pie to round out this spacey adventure in friendship, imagination, and storytelling.

From the May/June 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Roach About Julie Roach

Julie Roach manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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