Chickenfriend (Penny S. Roth)

(Due to unforeseen technical difficulties, we were unable to post last night’s review. Sorry for the delay!)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Chickenfriend, written by Penny S. Roth and illustrated Alyssa Busse, a lesson in friendship.

There are ordinary chickens, and then there’s Chickenfriend. So named by his human best friend Josi, Chickenfriend is hard to miss: he has a bold personality, a crazy created crown of feathers, and most notably, he is absolutely devoted to Josi. He even runs to Josi for hugs. One day, three new chickens join Chickenfriend in the coop, and feathers begin to ruffle. Whenever Josi compliments Fancy’s lovely feathers, or Blueshell’s unique blue eggs, Chickenfriend suddenly feels upset in his tummy – could it be jealousy? And when he sees Josi giving one of his hugs to Cluckers, he positively loses his cool, throwing a tantrum that’s fit to bring the barn down. How can Chickenfriend learn how to deal with jealousy, and to share his friend?

Sweet and unique. Inspired by her daughter, Roth crafts a story that hits familiar notes but with fresh and personal characters. Chickenfriend is certainly striking in appearance and personality, and kids will enjoy following his antics. The illustrations are humorous, and while some spreads feel a little generic, others are delightfully quirky and memorable. There are also areas where the text could have benefitted from some edits, especially in the slowed-down and occasionally redundant second half. And it bears mentioning that Chickenfriend learns his lesson of friendship with the help of faith – God is mentioned twice, though no exact faith is specified. Otherwise, the length was fine, and JJ enjoyed it. Overall, there were some rocky areas, but this was a clever, warmly personal story with a hilariously distinct character, and we really liked it. Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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