Kathleen McLaren, Chickens Storm Free, Forty South Publishing, September 2020, 32 pp., RRP $24.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780648854012
Shirley and Reg, a crested cockatoo and a crow respectively, embark on solving the mystery of a local ‘pong’ to discover hundreds of chickens cooped in crowded conditions at a chicken farm. After setting them free, they venture off into the bush. The story ends there and moves into an appendix with fascinating facts about chickens including how they problem solve and use the sun as a compass. The text would benefit from these facts woven into the story. The bright, bold colour palette contrasted with the plain looking chickens highlights the plight of the ‘crook chooks’.
Written and illustrated by Kathleen McLaren, the story encourages children to consider our food sources and farming practices.
Reviewed by Stef Gemmill