There’s a small rebellion brewing in Farmer John’s henhouse thanks to an indescribably hot Aussie summer and three very disgruntled chooks.
As a chook (Aussie vernacular for cackleberry, er … chicken) lover from way back, it goes without saying Australian summers can test those covered in feathers.
Feckless feathered trio, Daisy, Audrey and Ellie May, attempt to weather the heat and get on with the job of laying eggs but their efforts are repeatedly thwarted by the greenhouse affect of their henhouse resulting in cooked eggs and torrid tempers.
Each chook threatens to stack it all in and leave Farmer John eggless. He gallantly attempts to cool his chookies down but each misguided endeavour results in an escalation of eggasperation! (Sorry, had to fit one in somewhere). Finally the girls calm their farm and a resolution is found but not without some compromise on Farmer John’s behalf.
This rollicking rhyming adventure never leaves the confines of Famer John’s backyard but keeps the reader’s attention firmly nestled in the plight of our gregarious hens thanks to snappy meter and comfortable repeating patterns, sure to amuse little ones.
O’Meara injects just the right amount of humour and sass into her diminutive characters so that we feel their simmering anguish without the added anxiety of laying eggs in extreme temperatures. Personalities crackle into explosive life thanks to Yvonne Mes’ jocular portrayal of the girls who sport frilly bloomers, spectacles and the most droll demeanors a chook can possess. It’s loads of fun dressed in summery brights that is sure to raise a cackle-ish chuckle or two. Share it with your chickadees this summer, preferably under the cooling comfort of your air conditioning.
Title: Trouble In The Hen House
Author: Susan O’Meara
Illustrator: Yvonne Mess
Publisher: Yellow Brick Books, $19.95
Publication Date: October 2021
For ages: 3 – 7
Type: Picture Books