When longtime illustrator and lover of power tools Lauren Scheuer was looking for a project, she got the idea to raise backyard chickens. Read more...
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When longtime illustrator and lover of power tools Lauren Scheuer was looking for a project, she got the idea to raise backyard chickens. Her husband and teenage daughter looked on incredulously as coop sketches and chicken-raising books filled their New England home. But when the chicks arrived, the whole family fell in love with the bundles of fluff and the wild adventures began.
"Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens "stars Scheuer s backyard chickens with their big personalities, friendships, rivalries, and secrets and the flock s guardian, Marky the terrier. The flock includes Hatsy, the little dynamo; Lil White, the deranged and twisted Buff Orpington; Pigeon, the fixer-upper chicken; and Lucy, the special-needs hen who bonds with Lauren and becomes a fast friend.
This charming story of Lauren s life with her quirky flock is filled with moments of humor and heartbreak: When Lucy is afflicted with a neurological disease, Lauren builds Lucy a special-needs coop. When Lucy s nesting instinct leads
Lauren to act as a chicken midwife of sorts, Lauren hatches a chick in her home. And when Lucy s best friend Hatsy falls ill, Lauren finds an unlikely friend for Lucy in a chicken named Pigeon, who requires an emergency bath and blow-dry. Enthusiastically immersing herself in the world of her flock, Lauren discovers that love, loss, passion, and resilience are not only parts of the human experience, but of the chicken experience as well. Throughout it all, Lauren documents the laughter and drama of her flock s adventures with her own whimsical photos and illustrations. At once humorous, poignant, and informative, "Once Upon a Flock "is a feathered tale like no other."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-12-24
- Reviewer: Staff
Though readers may not associate chickens with empathy, this delightful book will likely change such opinions. After Scheuer, a children’s book illustrator who writes the blog Scratch and Peck, decided to introduce chicks to her rural Massachusetts backyard, the rewards of raising them to adulthood (with her husband and teenage daughter) far outpaced her minimal expectations, offering “hilarity and drama and life.” Her keen eye for subtle interactions enabled her to clearly delineate the distinct characters of Hatsy, Little White, Lucy, and Jenny, compelling the reader to invest in each bird, and in their ups and downs almost as intensely as Scheuer did. With frequent examples of selflessness—a chicken slowing its pace to match an ill comrade, or staying outside in the terrifying nighttime darkness to keep another company—the author pre-empts any criticism that she’s just anthropomorphized her beloved animals. This must-have for animal lovers also features Scheuer’s drawings, which along with photographs, enhance the endearing text. Illus. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore and Company. (Mar.)