New Review Tuesday: Squawking Matilda
I'm beginning to think I have a problem when it comes to picture books about chickens—I love them all! Some recent favorites include Kate DiCamillo's Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken, Terry Golson's Tillie Lays an Egg, and Janice Harrington's The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County. Oh, and Michael Ian Black's Chicken Cheeks, as well as Jacqueline Briggs Martin's Chicken Joy on Redbean Road. See? I do have a problem.
Nonetheless, I found myself charmed once again by Lisa Horstman's new book Squawking Matilda. Matilda is a "chicken with attitude" that the enterprising Aunt Susan sends to her young niece Mae. Mae is a problem solver and at first delighted to take on Matilda, but then gets distracted by her other pets. Poor Matilda loses her feathers as a result of this neglect, and Mae then has to come up with a creative way to keep Matilda warm.
For grades K–2, pair Squawking Matilda with the non-fiction Tillie Lays an Egg, and then compare and contrast Matilda's behavior with that of a real chicken. You might keep track of the similarities and differences in an egg-shaped Venn diagram. Students will also have fun brainstorming their own solutions to Matilda's feather problem.
I can't be the only chicken lover out there, so share your favorite henhouse tales in the comments.