Lisa Steele (text), Perry Taylor (illus.) Let’s Hatch Chicks!: explore the wonderful world of chickens and eggs, Young Voyageur Press/Murdoch Books, Feb 2018 48pp., $17.99 (hbk) ISBN 9780760357859
Lisa Steele is an expert on raising chickens and ducks, having written books and articles on the topic, maintaining a website, blog and Facebook pages and appearing on television. This is her first book for children.
The star chicken of the book is Violet, a Lavender Orpington hen living on the author’s farm in Maine, USA. As the book opens, she is shown on the farm before becoming broody, selecting a nesting box and laying her eggs. As the three weeks of incubation progress, the different stages of embryo development are described. Once the chickens have hatched, Violet is shown nurturing her chicks and teaching them what to eat.
Throughout the text, fact boxes contain ‘Fun Facts’ and other boxes of information tell the reader what they can do to help, how to handle chicks, how to rear the chicks if their mother rejects them and basic hygiene around chickens.
The book has a slightly old-fashioned look to it with soft-coloured illustrations mainly in shades of yellow and grey. The realistic bird paintings with cute chicks and hens give a lovely feel to the book. This is an excellent information title for readers wanting to know what is involved in rearing chickens or any who just love animals. It is well told in a story-like narrative which engages the reader and the illustrations are attractive, appealing and inviting.
Reviewed by Lynne Babbage