Chicken Man

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by Edwards, Michelle. (Lothrop, 1991 ISBN 0688097081. Hardcover. Library Binding.) Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades K+.
This book was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.
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Review

Rody is known as the chicken man on the kibbutz because of his love for and communication with the chickens. When he is in charge of the chickens, both he and they are happy and the egg production is phenomenal. However, other workers on the kibbutz are less content and when one insists on taking Rody's chicken job, Rody is set to another task. This too he throws his heart and soul into and, one by one, others ask for whatever job Rody is currently doing. Each job Rody takes, he makes the best of and his happy song can be heard by others. Eventually it's the chickens who are unhappy. They miss Rody. When the other kibbutz workers finally learn the lesson of doing any job, however, menial with one's utmost capacity, all are happier, especially the chickens.

Illustrated in cartoon style, the book has an obvious lesson but that doesn't overpower the book. Edwards couches her lesson well and allows the reader to make his or own sermon. The kibbutz setting is an interesting one. The author adds a page about living on a kibbutz and readers might like to think about communes of varying sorts and purposes.

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