Sunday, November 11, 2018

Review - A Hen for Izzy Pippik

A Hen for Izzy Pippik
by Aubrey Davis
illustrated by Marie Lafrance
Date: 2012
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

When Shaina finds a magnificent hen, she knows that Izzy Pippik, the hen's owner, is sure to return for her. In the meantime, Shaina decides she will care for the animal. But when dozens of eggs hatch and rowdy chickens scatter throughout the village, Shaina must fight the entire town if she has any hope of protecting the birds. Inspired by Jewish and Islamic traditional texts, this is a beautiful tale about doing the right thing, even in the face of adversity.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I didn't like this one much. The illustrations are probably the strongest part; the story didn't impress me at all.

A little girl named Shaina, unemployed due to a downturn in the economy (why is this book promoting child labour?), finds a hen and a crate with the owner's name on it. She convinces her mother and grandfather to let her keep the hen in the house until the owner, Izzy Pippik, comes back to claim her. Of course, the stupid bird goes and has a whole bunch of babies, and the house is soon overrun by chickens (why is this book promoting irresponsible animal husbandry?); I don't blame the mother at all for wanting all those crapping, squawking birds out of her house. Soon, the birds multiply and overrun the town, and the people complain... until, of course, it benefits them by stimulating the economy (why is this book promoting a town covered in chicken droppings as a tourist attraction?). Of course, Izzy Pippik finally returns, and (of course) he lets Shaina keep the hen... at which point, the girl bursts into tears; she's been so obsessed with doing the "right" thing that she can't even appreciate it when Izzy gives her a gift.

On top of all that, this is one of those books that likes to use words like "frowned" and "sneered" as dialogue tags. Sorry... but that's an instant loss of a star from me. I've come to expect it in novels (unfortunately), but I absolutely loathe seeing it in children's books. How are we teaching children proper sentence structure and grammar if their books are filled with such errors?

Check this one out for the pictures, but don't expect too much from the story (which also seemed a bit long for a picture book; there's quite a bit of text on every page, so it would take a while to read out loud).

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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