Elizabeth Rose Stanton, Author and Illustrator
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Book, Fiction Jan. 7, 2014
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Chickens, Individuality, Self-acceptance, Humor
Opening: “Henny was not a typical chicken. Henny was born with arms. Henny’s mother was very surprised, but she loved Henny anyway.”
Synopsis: It’s not every day that a chicken is born with arms. Henny likes being different…and she doesn’t like being different. She tries to strut around like the other chickens and fit in, but Henny has to be herself. As she grows, she worries about being right-handed or left-handed….wearing long sleeves or short sleeves…using buttons or zippers…and needing deodorant. She helps the farmer by milking a cow, feeding the chicks and the pigs. She discovers she can cross her arms, brush her teeth, comb her comb, carry a purse hail a taxi and ice skate. But, can she do the one thing she want to do most — fly?
Why I like this book: In her debut picture book, Elizabeth Rose Stanton has written a fresh and lovable character in Henny. This is a charming story about differences, self-acceptance and self-discovery. But it is also about a journey, wonder and dreams. Kids will relate to Henny and laugh at her antics and cheer her as she slowly discovers that with arms she can experience the world in a way the other chickens can’t. Being different can have it’s pluses and nothing is going to stop this curious chick. The language is very simple and a great book for young readers. Stanton’s pencil and watercolor illustrations are lively, expressive and tickle the imagination. She is an author/illustrator to watch.
Resources: Encourage your child to be imaginative and draw some animals that wouldn’t normally have arms, or legs. A fish with legs…a frog with arms…a bear with a beak and so on. Doodling can be fun. Check out Tara Lazar’s interview with Stanton last November and Joanna Marple’s illustrator’s interview with Stanton last September. Stanton gives some insight into her artistic process. You can visit Stanton on her website.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.