by Jane Finch
A few years ago I decided I would like to keep chickens. However, instead of buying pedigree chickens, I rescued some from a battery farm. I had seen pictures of them kept in small cages, never seeing the light of day, never feeling the sun on their backs, and never feeling the grass beneath their feet. So I took myself off to a local egg factory where they kept in excess of one thousand chickens, all in hot and steamy broiler houses. As it happened they were just about to send a load off to slaughter, and so I ended up going home with not just two or three, as I had planned, but with twenty-five! Most of the hens could not walk, were almost bald, and were not used to being in the dark, because the lights are kept on twenty-four hours a day to increase egg production.
I converted a shed into a coop and filled a greenhouse with straw bales. The way those chickens reacted to freedom took my breath away. I was amazed at the characters of the hens, their funny antics, the twinkle in their eyes, and the way they followed me around the garden like dogs. I loved them from the start and never expected to have such strong emotions for what, after all, were only chickens.
Being a writer, I decided to write about their escapades, later turning the stories into rhyme as I thought children would love to hear about these crazy chickens. Earlier this year I came across Jack Foster on Facebook and was immediately drawn to the incredible characters he had created. I sent him the rhymes and he responded by saying he would love to illustrate the poems, and so the Chickens Laugh Out Loud series was born.
The first was The Chicken Farm, followed by The Apple Tree, and later Rainy Morning, then Poor Little Billy and The Best Egg. I was so excited that Jack was able to bring my crazy chicken characters to life.
We recently received a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite for The Chicken Farm:
Reviewed By Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite
‘The Chicken Farm: Book 1 in the Chickens Laugh Out Loud Series will definitely make your young child laugh. The illustrations are very well done and the story is easy for a child to follow, understand, and enjoy. The rhyming adds interest for the child reader and allows them to eagerly try to find the matching rhyming word that might be used, a learning experience to see how many words they can come up with. My five-year-old granddaughter and I used my Kindle to read The Chicken Farm over and over; each time laughing, learning, and spending quality time together sharing. Jane Finch is a gifted writer with a special talent for entertaining a child. Jack Foster is a talented artist in making the illustrations fun, recognizable, and appealing to a child.
I believe this is a delightful book for any young child. I think the perfect age range is probably from age three to around five years old. It is exactly right for either a boy or a girl; both will find something that amuses and interests them. Each of the pages in The Chicken Farm is delightful. As a grandmother, I really enjoyed sharing the experience and as far as my granddaughter was concerned it was a really “cool” book. We are both anxiously awaiting future books in the series and are sure we will be sharing more fun times with the series. I highly recommend The Chicken Farm: Book 1 in the Chickens Laugh Out Loud Series.’
Never again will a chicken be ‘just a chicken’.
I hope these books will help children to understand more about these lovely creatures, their amazing characters, and how they are so much more than just an animal that produces eggs.
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