Synopses & Reviews
How much work can one little chicken be?
When Leora finds a chicken in her front yard, she imagines keeping it as a pet and gathering eggs for breakfast every morning. But her mother has a very different view. Following a Jewish law that says ”finders aren’t keepers,” Mrs. Bendosa is determined that the family should care for the chicken just until its rightful owner returns. Soon, however, one little chicken becomes a flock of chickens, a flock of chickens becomes two goats, two goats become a herd of goats…until—Oh! What a house!
Elisa Kleven’s exquisitely detailed folk art brings Elka Weber’s humorous retelling of a traditional tale to life and promises to leave readers pondering the adage, “finders, keepers.”
"When a chicken wanders into an impoverished Jewish household, little Leora, like children from time immemorial, begs her mother to keep it. Leora isn't just looking for a pet; she yearns for fresh eggs to break up the monotony of the family's lentil soup diet. But her mother is a stickler for the rules: 'Finders aren't keepers. This chicken isn't our chicken.' Fair enough but what is the family to do with the parade of livestock that results from their decision?And what is owed the chicken's real owner when he finally appears? Weber (The Yankee at the Seder) and Kleven (Welcome Home, Mouse) give readers food for thought without stepping over the line into didacticism, but the ending, which shows Leora's family joyfully re-embracing deprivation, might test modern readers' credulity. An endnote explains this story's origins in the Talmud and notes the rule's source, Deuteronomy 22:1 3. The serviceable prose, Leora's scold of a mother a clichÃ© that should be put out to pasture and the innocuously pretty images add up to a less than persuasive portrait of extreme piety. Ages 4 6. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
ELKA WEBER is married and the mother of five children. Her previous book with Tricycle, The Yankee at the Seder
, won a Sidney Taylor Honor Award.
ELISA KLEVEN is the author and/or illustrator of many well-loved books for children, among them Welcome Home Mouse, A Carousel Tale, The Lion and the Little Red Bird, The Puddle Pail, Abuela (written by Arthur Dorros), and The Paper Princess. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, daughter, son, dogs and cats.