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The Chicken Thief

by Béatrice Rodriguez

Published by U.S. edition: Enchanted Lion Books, 2010
24 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59270-092-9

Ages 4 - 8

In the midst of a friendly picnic, a group of friends—a bear, a rooster, a rabbit, and assorted hens and chicks—are startled when a fox suddenly rises from nearby bushes, snatches up one of the chickens, and races off with her in his arms. This wordless picture book tracks his flight through the forest, up a mountain, and across a raging sea in a rowboat. All the while, the rooster, the rabbit, and the bear are in frantic pursuit. When the trio finally bursts through the door of the fox’s den, they discover the chicken and the fox having a cozy cup of tea in front of the fireplace. Stockholm Syndrome or star-crossed lovers searching for a happy home? Arguments could be made for either interpretation; however, visual clues suggest that while the hen is startled at the fox’s initial appearance, she appears composed shortly after and is clearly trying to explain everything to her friends near story’s end. The book’s short, wide format encourages readers to track the animals’ movement across the pages, while the warmly colored illustrations add charm to the drama.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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