Review Blog

Feb 20 2012

Mr Chicken goes to Paris by Leigh Hobbs

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2011. ISBN 9781742378350.
There is little to add to all the praise and accolades that this title received when it was first released in 2009. But now in a new paperback version, it is time for a new wave of children to meet this lovable character who Leigh Hobbs first introduced in Hooray for Horrible Harriet. In this story, Mr Chicken has taken up his friend Yvette's invitation to travel to Paris and we join him in his adventures as he explores the city. But while he is viewing the sights, the locals are viewing the sight of him. The back endpaper is superb.
In his distinctive style, Hobbs has created a funny story that is, at the same time, educational as we are introduced to the wonders of Paris, the buildings and their treasures. There is also much to explore about preparing for an overseas trip, especially if the children are asked, 'What would Mr Chicken need to know and do before he went to Paris?' Then they could be challenged to put together 'Mr Chicken's Guide to Paris' investigating and providing the background information to the things that Mr Chicken saw and did. Perhaps they could even include a recipe for frog-leg souffles and other traditional French dishes and extend their palates.
There are some discussion questions and activities available but the more you read it and explore it, the richer it becomes. Already an award winner, it deserves to be a hit all over again, and for the lucky ones in NSW, NIDA is presenting it as part of National Year of Reading 2012
Barbara Braxton

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