The Problem with Chickens

Salka Publishing Reykjavik


  • The Problem with Chickens -
  • The Problem with Chickens -
  • The Problem with Chickens -

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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.


"Kindergarten-Grade 3–Set in Iceland, this story is about a community of resourceful women who travel to the city to buy a flock of chickens so that eggs are plentiful in the village. However, the chickens run amok and begin to behave more like ladies than birds. Before long, they stop laying eggs. The resilient women develop a far-fetched plan to solve the problem and the merriment swells to a final, hilarious resolution. The playful text is both silly and joyous, without a wasted word. Gunnella's enchanting oil paintings are full of childlike humor and saturated with appealing primary colors. They convey emotion and absurdity with seemingly simple lines and expressive body language. These spirited, buxom ladies and beguiling chickens will be remembered long after the book has been closed. A funny and inventive choice that is also a charming tribute to Icelandic culture and tradition."–Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"PreS-Gr. 2. McMillan makes a successful departure from his many noted photo-essays, such as Nights of the Pufflings (1995). Sticking to a bird theme, he has created a simple, humorous tale about chickens with pretensions of becoming women. The village ladies are frustrated because they cannot reach the eggs the wild birds lay on the sides of cliffs. Little do they suspect that the chickens they buy will hatch a new set of problems. The hens decide to do everything the ladies do--pick blueberries, go to birthday parties, have tea--until they are too busy to lay eggs. A fine artist and first-time children's book illustrator, Gunnella makes the transition to picture books quite well: the rotund ladies and irrepressible hens, portrayed in flat, colorful, thickly painted folk-art style, aptly complement the tone of the story." Diane Foote
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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