Sonya's Chickens

illus. by Phoebe Wahl. 32p. Tundra. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781770497894.
RedReviewStarK-Gr 2—Sonya's dad gives her three tiny chickens to raise on their farm, telling her that she is responsible for keeping them happy and making sure they have full bellies and a warm place to sleep. She does her job well, and soon the chickens become full-grown hens. When one of them is killed by a fox looking for food to feed his family, her father explains that the fox father had to care for his kits, just as he himself cared for Sonya and she cared for her chicks. The family holds a funeral for the hen, and Sonya is further comforted when she discovers a brown egg in the henhouse hatching, so she soon has a new baby chick to care for. This lesson of the interdependence among all living things in nature is gently told, accompanied by colorful watercolor and collage illustrations that show the multicultural family's life on a farm. At the end, Sonya is cuddling her new chick and showing her little brother how to provide for its care. The story presents the circle of life in a very comforting but realistic manner. The bright pictures do not mince matters: one shows the fox with the hen in his mouth but the next balances it with him curled up protectively in his den with the kits.
VERDICT Most libraries will want to include this lovely book in their picture book collections.

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