Whacko the Chook, by Mark Svendsen & Ben Redlich

Whacko the Chook is feeling sad, and decides she needs a friend – so she sets out to find one. But the other chooks are busy with their own lives, and don’t seem to need Whacko. Each rejection makes her sadder and sadder, until finally she gives in to the urge to go and hide in a nice dark place. But in the nesting box she discovers that her urge for a friend is also a deeper urge to lay an egg. With her new egg, Rodney, Whacko realises she has a friend all of her own.

Whacko the Chook is a humorous picture book story with a gentle message. Kids will love the different chicken characters – as well as Whacko, a plain white chicken with a scraggly red head, there is Henny-wise, a helmet wearing hunter, Chooky Looky, a crazy spotted hen who is convinced the sky is falling, and Pretty-Little Pennyfeather, a vain, conceited hen. Adult readers will enjoy creating voices for the four characters, with plenty of dialogue with which to have fun. The illustrations, too, will delight, with the browns and greys of the chook pen brightened with the reds of the hens’ heads and other splashes of colour. The hens’ facial expressions are hilarious.

This a fun offering which will appeal to the obvious preschool audience, but also to older children.

Whacko the Chook

Whacko the Chook, by Mark Svendsen and Ben Redlich
Lothian, 2007

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