Review Blog

Mar 29 2019

The book chook by Amelia McInerney

cover image

Illus. by Connah Brecon. Omnibus, 2019. ISBN: 9781742994987.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Humour, Poultry, Illustrative technique. A very funny look at a chook, Ray who does not realise that he is a book chook, a two dimensional drawing that has a place only on a page. He is appalled and checks himself out. He realises that his feathers are flat, he has no smell near his behind, while he talks in rhyme. He calls out to the audience to help him escape from the page, by calling his name, and as the pages are turned he is begging them to call out more loudly. Janine all the while waits patiently while his attempts to escape fail, and tells him to rethink his plans. After all does he realise what a chook does all day? Does he know that they cannot read and write? And finally she convinces him that he is better off where he is with Janine for a friend.
This delightful story will have eager readers asking it to be read out again and again, so that they can help Ray escape from the book by calling out his name. Audience participation will be loud and encouraging, and they will laugh out loud at his antics to get off that page.
The clever illustrations give each of the main characters wonderful facial expressions, revealing what each is feeling as Ray attempts at escape. I can imagine readers grabbing all the books about chooks from the shelves in their libraries, comparing just how chooks are illustrated and perhaps coming to the conclusion that Ray is better off with his friend. And they will laugh at the contrast between real chooks and those shown in picture books.
A lovely read, extolling the phrase, 'there's no place like home'.
Fran Knight

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