Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken
Joanna Cotler Books (2008)
Reviewed by Simon Smith (age 9) for Reader Views (10/08)
I think you would really enjoy this book because it is a unique story. It is a large picture book with small but exciting chapters. The endpapers have a beautiful gold and white plant design. The artwork is very good and looks half realistic–faces are one of the artist’s strengths.
Louise has three adventures: one at sea with pirates, one in the circus, and one in India. In chapter two, which is called “Louise Up High,” Louise sneaks off to the circus and gets a job as a tightrope walker. While she is walking the wire, she almost falls into a lion’s mouth, but flaps away just before it eats her. Then she hides in a clown’s hat until it is safe.
One interesting thing is that in the middle of the book the author put the book sideways because the scene was so high when Louise was on the high wire. The book ends with Louise back at home telling all of the other chickens about her adventures. The book teaches that you think adventures are fun before they happen, but when they happen, they actually aren’t. Louise almost gets eaten in each adventure but somehow escapes. I think the final adventure put an end to her wanting to have adventures because she was able to help other chickens to be free.
The back cover of the book has a quote from Emily Dickinson saying, “Hope is the thing with feathers . . .” I think the author put that there because it means that Louise had hope enough to get her home. I really liked this book because the artwork really catches your eye and the story drifts you in as if it were real life. Louise is crazy to go on all of these adventures. A good audience for this book would be boys and girls, ages four and up, and any kind of kid who likes adventures and made-up stories.
My favorite part of the book was when Louise is in the clown’s hat, hiding from a lion. “Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken” by Kate DiCamillo is so good that I wouldn’t change anything. even if I could.