The Plot Chickens


Henrietta loves reading so much she decides to write a book herself. With the help of her chicken friends, she creates her plot and writes the story. None of the publishers she sends it to wants to publish a book written by a chicken. So she publishes it herself. When it gets a bad review in the newspaper, Henrietta is embarrassed and hides. When she finally gets up the nerve to go back to the library, she sees her book on display. The children see her and praise her book. She reads the story, even though it sounds like clucking to the kids. The end of the book has the story she wrote.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This funny, smartly-written book offers kids a great story and a chance to understand how authors write books.

Content Awareness Factors:


Little Kid Reaction

My daughter picked this because when she flipped through it, the pictures got her attention. She tried to help the chickens come up with different ideas of how their story should go. She laughed at the end when she realized the children couldn’t even understand Henrietta! She enjoyed seeing the process the chickens went through to make up the story and get it published.

Parent Reaction

I enjoyed watching the process of the chicken coming up with the story. I thought it was a very easy to understand book that explains the writer's process. I was surprised it interested her so much, but was pleased that it did.

Type of Book:
This is a picture book story about reading, perseverance, and courage.
Educational Themes:

You can use this book to show kids how a story is born. Henrietta's tale offers a bird's eye view of the writer's process, publishing, and book reviews. There are opportunities to talk about problem solving, feelings, taste (not everyone likes the same thing), courage, and perseverance.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
8 to 10
Recommended Age To Read Together:
3 to 8
Age of child:
Read with a 5-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is a story that can grow with your child. All school and public libraries should have this book.

Title The Plot Chickens
Author Mary Jane Auch
Publisher Holiday House © 2009
Illustrators Mary Jane Auch, Horm Auch
ISBN 9780823420872
Material Hard Cover
Genres Animal Character, Humor
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