Wednesday, February 27, 2013
by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Kathryn Brown
Candlewick, 2013. Unpaged. Picture Book.
When Nora and her family come to America from Russia, the rest of the family finds something here to love: her brother adopts a stray dog, her father talks to the cows and horses, her mother fills the house with bright colors similar to what they were used to in Russia. But Nora misses the forests and hills of her native land and cannot be reconciled until her father gives her a flock of chicks. He envisions them growing up to become stew meat, but she names them all and says NO. Soon Nora not only has the chickens for friends, but the chickens attract so much attention among the people in her prairie home that she starts to make friends with people as well. In MacLachlan's trademark style, Nora's Chicks is an evocative, warm-hearted telling of a story from our prairie past. The pictures are lighthearted and lovely. (One quibble: Neither Nora nor Milo is a Russian name, nor of Eastern European origin. Why those names?)