Review Blog

Sep 09 2009

Mr Chicken goes to Paris by Leigh Hobbs

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2009. ISBN 9781741757699.
(Ages: Junior primary) Hobbs has developed another unusual main character in Mr Chicken, a rather single minded, taciturn chook with a mouth that is always down at the ends. Invited by his friend Yvette to visit her in Paris, Mr Chicken is eager to go, consulting maps before boarding the plane, economy class, to Paris. There, he and Yvette tour the main features of Paris: Arc de Triomphe, Musee du Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Palace of Versailles.
At each place Mr Chicken has a comment to pass, sometimes in French, as he asks people to take his photo, observes what is around him or is served a meal. His bright yellow physique stands out amongst the crowds, and the reader can see that it is the chicken that the other tourists are watching, not the scenery they have come to see.
A wry look at tourism and its allied industries, Leigh Hobbs has created a likeable monster, which will charm the readers as they view Paris through his eyes and see Mr Chicken through the eyes of other tourists. Full of colour and Hobbs' easily identifiable drawings, Mr. Chicken goes to Paris will be wonderful read aloud to a class and just as joyous read alone, but the reader will want to share.
Fran Knight

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