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Can chickens see in the dark or can't they? That is the question that a small chick called Pippa wants to find the answer to. Having been told that they can't, she sets off on a mission to disprove this fact even though all of the other chicks are laughing at her. This curious chick is very determined but will she be successful in her quest?
When a little chick called Pippa hears her teacher, Mr Benedict, say:
As sure as eggs is eggs, chickens can't see in the dark.
she is extremely disappointed. She thinks that not being able to see in the dark is a terrible thing and desperately wants to prove her teacher wrong. There are a number of characters who might be able to help such as the wise Mr Owl or Miss Featherbrain who runs the library. The only problem is that they all laugh at Pippa and reinforces the notion that chickens can't see in the dark.
Therefore, Pippa is on her own but luckily she discovers a book called Old Hens' tales and that leads her to a possible solution. All she needs to do is obtain a large amount of carrots and to eat them all. As they are a bit boring on their own, she cooks up a carrot banquet of delicious dishes like carrot cookies, crispy carrot crunchies, chewy carrot caramels and carrot curry. All these dishes sound so tempting that all the other chickens want to share her feast. They do and amazingly, as the sky grows dark, they all enjoy the wonderful sight of:
twinkly stars, shimmery shadows, and the beautiful moon.
We really enjoyed this cute story and thought that Pippa was an adorable and inquisitive character. We loved her determination as she set out to prove that she could see in the dark. Like many a small child, there was no way she was going to allow the grown ups to prove her wrong! The story was really enhanced by the wonderful busy illustrations that demonstrate how Pippa refuses to be deterred. Her sense of purpose is definitely shown in the library illustrations as she hunts for the huge book that she needs. My daughter also enjoyed reading all the extra labels and signposts that appear on many of the pages.
I thought that this story was very well written and I particularly enjoyed the wonderfully descriptive language. I liked the alliteration especially the many carrot culinary delights. There is also a good deal of dialogue in the story which makes it fun to read aloud. This is particularly true because of some of the wonderful expressions that are uttered by the older birds. One example is when Granny Bumblefoot is scornful of Pippa's ideas and exclaims:
Oh my feet and feathers!
The text is also set out interestingly on the pages merging with the wonderful illustrations and sometimes framing them. Some words are in capitals and others are simply bigger. These all add to the overall enjoyment of this fun book.
Overall, my daughters and I loved this book and we definitely recommend it.