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MR. WATSON'S CHICKENS by Jarrett Dapier


by Jarrett Dapier ; illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-4521-7714-4
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Ain’t nobody here but us chickens. (Oh, and Mr. Watson and Mr. Nelson, too.)

Mr. Watson and Mr. Nelson, a queer couple who live in a “big, honking house with a teeny-tiny yard in a big, honking city” with Mr. Watson’s 456 chickens, have a problem. No, it’s not stains on the furniture (although that might be problem)—it’s the noise of the chickens, led by brown hen Aunt Agnes and her song: “Shooby-doo, wonky-pow, bawka-bawka in da chow-chow.” It’s a song she sings constantly, and it’s driving a wedge between Messrs. Watson and Nelson. The solution—crating up the chickens to find them new homes at the county fair—stumbles (literally) when Mr. Watson trips on a ball and the chickens get loose, disappearing into the fair. The story is amusing if on the twee side. Frequent repeated phrases will assist skilled storytellers in performing the tale effectively, although the detailed, chicken-filled illustrations will make the book difficult to use with large groups. Chicken-loving lapsitters, however, will find much to look at. Whatever the setting, adults sharing this should be prepared to engage with the difficult and not-so-subtle message that pets are easily disposed of once their novelty has worn off. Mr. Watson present White, and Mr. Nelson presents Asian. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This egg is cracked.

(Picture book. 6-8)