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Hen Hears Gossip

by Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Joung Un Kim

Published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2008
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-113876-8

Ages 4-7

Pecking for bugs in the barnyard one day, Hen detects a juicier morsel when she overhears Pig whispering to Cow. Better than bugs, Hen loves gossip, and she hurriedly passes on the news to Duck: “Psst….Sadie the Dog has a thorn!” And so a game of telephone ensues as Duck tells Goose who tells Turkey. The feathered friends are all agape with the gossip…until they realize that they have heard different kernels of truth. Completing the circuit by running back to Hen, Turkey calls, “Hen! Hen! You’re lazy, fat, and ate all the corn!” “WHHAAT?” cried Hen. I did NOT eat all the corn!” At this moment, the confusion uncoils as the rumor is traced back to its roots. The hilarity of the hullabaloo is perfectly portrayed with mixed-media collage illustrations by Joung Un Kim. Clever positioning and paper selections lend animation and expression to the barnyard friends. This satisfying story works well as a read-aloud, and school-age children will likely chuckle about Cow’s real announcement that “a baby calf was born.” Highly Commended, 2009 Charlotte Zolotow Award (TM)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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