Mr Chicken Goes to Paris, Leigh Hobbs, Allen&Unwin, $15.95
WHO knew a chicken (is he broiled, raw or steamed?) could be so utterly and accidentally charming. Despite a permanent grimace and a disgruntled disposition, Mr Chicken decides to visit his French pen pal Yvette. Everyone who encounters Mr Chicken is either alarmed or perplexed, or both, as the enormous, very yellow Monsieur Poulet harrumphs his way around The City of Lights.
Totally oblivious to the chaos he inspires, Mr Chicken and Yvette visit all the big tourist attractions while onlookers are left reeling at the sight of a chicken – his camera delicately dangling from one stumpy wing – touring the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles.
Multi-award winning author and illustrator Leigh Hobbs encourages readers to respond to Mr Chicken on an emotional level. He’s an outsider who quite literally doesn’t fit in, yet here he is, embracing a world that finds him puzzling and even a little frightening. While the story has a lot to say about acceptance, make no mistake – this is a very funny book that stands up to multiple readings. Nuanced, detailed line drawings capture the vast array of emotions that imbues this chicken with both heart and soul.
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