Monday, July 5, 2010
Review of The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
Author: Daniel Manus Pinkwater
Illustrator: Tony Auth
Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12
Description from GoodReads:
Arthur is sent to find a Thanksgiving turkey, but returns with a 266-pound chicken with a mind of its own in a fresh new look at everyone's favorite feathered tale. B&W illustrations throughout.
Part of my reading goals this summer is to catch up on reading a number of middle grade books on my "To Be Read" list. So far I have read about six Middle Grade books and have really enjoyed nearly every one of them. Here is one of the six that just kept me laughing...
Daniel Pinwater's The Hoboken Chicken Emergency was recommended to me a few months ago. I'm not certain but I think it might have been originally released in 1977. However, it is one of those stories that continues to work even years later. To elaborate on the GoodReads description the story is basically a tale of friendship between a boy named Arthur and a 266 lb. 6 foot tall chicken named Henrietta. Shortly after Arthur brings Henrietta home, his father tells him to take her back to her original owner. It seems that in the short time that the two were together they bonded and now Henrietta wants to find Arthur. In Henrietta's attempt to find Arthur, she proceeds to scare the residents of Hoboken and cause utter chaos. Will Arthur find Henrietta in time?
This book is funny. You can't help laughing at Arthur's attempts to train Henrietta or how everyone mistakes Henrietta for everything from a polar bear to some kind of alien life-form. The mayor and city councils' attempt to capture Henrietta is just plain comical. However, I truly admire any writer who can write humor for elementary age students. You have to have just the right combination of making it seem real and funny without going too far over the edge. Pinkwater does a great job with the humor in this story. It is funny, touching, and just an enjoyable little book.
If you are looking for a fun read for girls or boys (though boys might appreciate it more) this summer, I would add this to your list. The reading level recommendation states 9 to 12 year olds but it can easily be read by 7 & 8 year olds. The humor and easy writing style will appeal to reluctant readers as well.
Have a great summer and don't forget to grab a book and read,