All the birthday girl wants from her Abuela is a ticket to the amusement park. Instead, she gets a chicken. But this chicken is no ordinary chicken; it has plans! With a lot of hard work, and help from other animals, this chicken may just end up granting the girl the best birthday gift ever.
Laura Gehl is the author of the popular PEEP AND EGG series. When I saw she had written about getting a chicken as a birthday present I knew I had to read it. My nieces love their chickens and even take them for rides in their "chicken stroller". Really!
The birthday girl asked her Abuela (grandma) for tickets to the amusement park for her birthday. Instead, Abuela Lola did one better, she got her a chicken for her birthday. Her granddaughter can't figure out what she is supposed to do with this chicken and doesn’t like all the extra chores it has added like feeding it and gathering eggs. But, she starts to notice this isn't just any chicken but a very talented chicken who may just get the birthday girl exactly what she wants.
This book is the perfect sort of silliness and fun that all kids will love reading over and over again. The illustrations are vibrant (just like the fantastic cover) and tell more of the story than the words actually do which makes reading even more fun. The little signs that the chicken holds rebuffing the birthday girl's wishes are the best part! When she realizes what the chicken has actually done for her is quite amazing.
If your kids are fans of silly books or have a secret wish for a birthday chicken, definitely pick up this book!
Laura Gehl is the author of the Peep and Egg books and several other picture books, including ONE BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR. Laura has four children. She and her family live in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Find out more at LauraGehl.com
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"Though Ana had asked her Abuela Lola for amusement park tickets for her birthday, she receives a chicken instead. Disappointed but good-natured, Ana reasons that the fowl is a better gift than socks or underwear—and she does like scrambled eggs. But her chicken has other plans in mind: after making a long and eclectic shopping list (items include a cement mixer, fireworks, and 85 rubber ducks), the chicken recruits Ana's pets to help with a secret construction project. Gehl's matter-of-fact narration, built around repetition of the title, offers a dry contrast to the outlandish goings-on. The chicken, who communicates solely via written placards, eventually directs Ana to send for her Abuela, who arrives via bulldozer to help reveal the amusement park that the chicken has built. Filled with splashy colors and textures, Horne's mixed-media pictures playfully fiddle with perspective and scale while including details that step up the fun: the seats on the roller-coaster are giant eggshells, and Abuela Lola rocks a purple updo. An oddball birthday tale with heart."—Publishers Weekly—Journal
"This silly story starts with an unexpected birthday gift. A young girl with jet black braids is hoping for a trip to the amusement park but instead of satisfying her request, Abuela Lola sends a chicken. Despite her visible disappointment, the girl tries to make the best of the situation. But the chicken shows little interest in egg laying and things start to get strange when the chicken presents the girl with a long shopping list and enlists her other pets in a mysterious construction project. By the end of the story, it becomes clear that the girl's birthday gift is much more than a strange new pet. The text is simple with the phrase, 'I got a chicken for my birthday' repeated throughout will encourage child participation. Colorful and energetic pen-and-ink illustrations pair well with the humorous story. VERDICT Kids will enjoy pointing out the details that provide visual clues as to what the chicken is up to. An amusing story with a twist, perfect for a maker or construction storytime."—School Library Journal
"What's wrong with Abuela Lola? Our birthday girl asked her three times for amusement-park tickets, and you know what? Abuela sent her a take-charge chicken styling yellow construction boots instead! If that isn't bad enough, the tool-belt-wearing denizen of the barnyard has subverted all the pig-tailed Latina's pets. Not a one has time for cake, no one wants to play, and everyone is ignoring the aggrieved narrator. To make matters worse, the chicken (via imperative-clause picket signs) demands that Abuela travel posthaste to the child's backyard. Dogs wearing hard hats, birds hoisting girders, grandmas operating bulldozers—has the world gone mad? Gehl's sparsely worded wink to Anne Isabella Ritchie's evolving axiom, 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life,' is made into a masterpiece by Horne's distinctive and humorously sly illustrations. The raucous colors pop against the wry, understated refrain, "I got a chicken for my birthday." Practically every clever detail begs to be the center of attention. Is the chicken's scrolled supply list with the sneakily embedded song lyrics the pièce de résistance, or is it the hamster powering the monstrous Ferris wheel? Visual puns compete with subtle tweaks to the funny bone, and each deserves to be savored in its own right. Either Horne was in Gehl's pocket or vice versa, because this utterly seamless blend of story and art is an ingenious treat for all ages."—starred, Kirkus Reviews—Journal
"Though she hopes to get amusement-park tickets for her birthday, the young narrator of this fanciful tale instead gets a chicken. But this bird, who has no time for eating or laying eggs, is no run-of-the-mill fowl. It develops a project, requiring a long list of items and the help of many friends. This project is slowly shown to be an amusement park. Although the story is slight, it is creatively told. The facts are revealed in a low-key repetitive text, and the words are kept to a minimum, all of the humor and action in the brightly colored illustrations. The narration moves slowly along, with the title inserted on every other double-page spread. The illustrations show the pleasantly plump, dark-feathered, needle-headed chicken industriously scurrying about to build the amusement park. Many characters—mostly animals—are brought in to help build, including the other household pets and the human family. This chicken story is definitely as good as a ticket to an amusement park, maybe better."—Booklist
Laura Gehl is senior editor of the award-winning educational periodical Science Weekly. Laura's best ideas come from her four young children. Her previous books include And Then Another Sheep Turned Up and Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Sarah Horne grew up in snowy Derbyshire, UK, with some goats and a brother. She now draws, paints, and writes from underneath a pile of paper at her studio in London.