Book Reviews

So many books. So little time.

Hungry Hen by Richard Waring

"There once was…"

The story begins almost as a fairy tale would (Once upon a time there was…)

There once was a hungry hen. Oh my!

Is the story going to be about this hungry hen that gobbled up all the worms in the barnyard and went adventuring for more food?

Not so simple. There is a twist to the tale—a hungry fox up on a hill, looking down upon a hungry hen. Dinner for the fox, but "If I wait just one more day the hen will be even bigger." So the hen ate and ate and grew larger and larger, and the fox waited and waited, and grew thinner and thinner. Patience? or greed? The story provides many discussion opportunities.

The words are simple, the illustrations bold. Look at hen on the strut, unaware. Only the reader sees sharp-eyed fox on the hill. And notices how, over time, hen grows to occupy a two-page spread, and fox shrinks; so thin that his ribs show. Fox can wait no longer.

"He ran faster and faster,
straight down the hill,
through the farm,
and crashed through the window into the hen’s house."

That’s the end of the hen, we think. Patience pays. The fox wins. Be patient, dear reader.

The font size grows larger.

"And just as the fox was about to pounce…"

A page turn. The suspense builds—what perfect pacing here. What happens?

You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Title: Hungry Hen

Author: Richard Waring

Illustrator: Caroline Jayne Church

Publisher: Harper Collins

Hardback: 32 pages

ISBN: 0-06-623880-3