Friday, December 6, 2013

PPBF: Nora's Chicks

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick


Nora's Chicks
Written by Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated by Kathryn Brown
Candlewick, 2013, Fiction, ages 3-7, Lexile 490L

Themes:
Lonliness, Immigration, Farming

Opening:
"When Nora came to America from Russia, she came with her mother, her father, and her baby brother, Milo. She brought a bag of clothes, two dolls, and her blanket."

Synopsis:
Nora's family emigrates to the American prairie from Russia. The landscape, the house, the life is much different, making Nora ache for her old home. Nora becomes nursemaid to a flock of chicks, helping her overcome her loneliness and transforming her new environment into her new home.

"Nora smiled for the first time. " interior art by Kathryn Brown, available at R. Michelson Galleries.




What I Love:
Tired of turkey yet? How about some chicken? I've actually been saving this gem for a while ('not sure why.) The water color illustrations are an obvious draw. The author? Well, yeah, if Pat MacLachlan writes directions on how to shampoo the carpet, I'm gonna be first in line to read them. It's a quiet book about self discovery and the triumph of one small girl, based on recollections of Pat's family history.

Courtesy DIYProjectNetwork

Bonus:
1. Make your own flock of chickens with these crafty hens cut from cereal boxes. They might be too advanced for little ones, but I really couldn't resist posting them here. So Cute!
2. Egg and pepper snacks. No, the irony is not lost on me. One blogger mom said you should be committed to a psych ward if you even considered making these. My kids think they are the coolest things on the planet and can't wait to make them. You decide.
3. We have our own chickens. Whether caring for adult hens, or starting from scratch (couldn't resist the pun) tending a flock has been a great experience for my family. My daughter's first grade teacher incubates eggs each year with her class. Here are a few resources if you want to give it a try.
Courtesy KiddieFoodies
http://www.hobbyfarms.com/livestock-and-pets/teach-kids-with-chickens.aspx
http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/hatching-chickens/
http://www.amazon.com/Storeys-Guide-Raising-Chickens-Edition/dp/1603424695
4. Learn a little Russian. Here is a great link to the Cyrillic Alphabet for kids.
5. Study Russian immigrants or immigration in general through history or picture books!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday, December 6, 2013 from Susanna Leonard Hill.



12 comments:

  1. The illustrations look luscious - and your egg & chick snack looks yummy!
    Thanks for sharing this book... I can't wait to read it.

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    1. You can thank my librarian for pointing it out!

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  2. I love books about chickens. We have chickens too and I like observing them. They are silly creatures. But I also like Ms MacLachlan. She tells a good tale. I'll be checking this one out. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I can't wait to build our new coop in the spring. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. This makes two Pat MacLachlan books reviewed on one Friday! Maybe that's the kismet that made you hold the book until now. . .? My neighbor raised chickens when I was growing up and I know they're not the nicest animals, but in picture books--adorable!

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    1. Our chickens are fraidy-cats, so we're not hen-pecked here. As for Patricia's work, let me also recommend The True Gift: A Christmas Story, if you haven't read it yet. 80 pages of glorious holiday spirit.

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  4. Yes, I reviewed a Patricia MacLachlan book today. I love her book and this one is after my own heart. I love family stories retold. Had not seen this book, so will definitely check it out!

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    1. The feeling's mutual, because I can't wait to read Snowflakes Fall. Thanks!

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  5. I had no idea Pat was Russian. Now that's a double reason to like her! Our two children were adopted from Russia.
    And what delicate and gorgeous illustrations to top it off!

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    1. My mom's parents were Russian immigrants, so this was a treat for me.

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  6. I will be making a cereal box chicken! This is such a sweet book!

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    1. I'm still trying to figure out how to make these into a row of magazine holders. Thanks for reading!

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Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!