Reviews for Mama Hen's Big Day!


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Jaunty illustrations show Mama Hen searching for the perfect place to lay her first egg. Danger lurks everywhere, but she finally comes to rest atop a tall mountain, concluding, "The best place of all to lay her egg is wherever Mama is!" Some may find this less than satisfying, but the last page offers a reassuring image, as Mama protectively cuddles her new chick.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 January #1
Spunky Mama Hen searches high and low for the very best location for her egg. This simple pattern story sees the hen locating a spot to lay her egg and then quickly rejecting it due to a commonly understood animal danger. "A cave looks cozy," but the view of a snake coiled up inside marks it an inappropriate nesting place. The cat stalks the peaceful meadow; a porcupine has claimed the bed of leaves; a fox creeps through the tall grass. Placement of relevant text on the same page as the potential threat keeps tension at a minimum. Bright, loose watercolors occasionally allow the white background to show through, creating energy, while whimsical black outlines show motion, texture and attitude. Very observant readers will enjoy spotting small details, including a reappearing ladybug. Poor Mama Hen's desperation is effectively conveyed in a surreal, spiraling spread. A page turn reveals what many readers may not find to be the perfect nest: "the tippy-top of the tallest mountain," which looks like it is about to crumble into the sea. No matter; the chick hatches almost instantaneously. The low word count and brisk pace make this tale suitable for younger readers, though its adherence to visual logic is a little iffy. (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 January #1

Mama Hen is ready to lay her egg, but can't find the right spot to do so. British illustrator Latter contrasts the worried narration with cheerful pastoral watercolors in bright blues, reds, and greens. Several spots that look promising to Mama Hen are already occupied by animals best avoided (a cat, a porcupine, a fox), though even these tend to appear more friendly than threatening--the porcupine's quills resemble a paintbrush, and the prowling cat wears a wide smile. Eventually, the hen lays her egg "on the tippy-top of the tallest mountain," which is arguably the most dangerous spot yet, with the sea roiling against a rocky shore far below. Yet Latter ends the story there, with Mama Hen learning, "The best place of all to lay her egg is wherever Mama is!" The story may leave readers wanting more, but Latter's paintings are a high point. Her loose ink outlines--festooned with dots, swirls, and other flourishes--create a lively yet reassuring atmosphere, while Mama Hen's apostrophe-shaped eyes effectively convey determination, alarm, and tenderness. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

PreS-K--Large color-and-black-line cartoon illustrations team up with simple text to chronicle Mama Hen's search for a perfect place to lay her egg. Rejected sites are already occupied in turn by a snake, cat, porcupine, and fox. The continuing route leads Mama to "the tippy-top of the tallest mountain" (a rubble pile), where she accepts that the best place to lay an egg is "wherever Mama is!" Hen's travails are observed along the way by a snail, ladybug, butterfly, and birds, allowing discussion during lap-sit reads. This Swiss import is as sweet and simple as a kiss on the cheek.--Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA

[Page 78]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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