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The Problem With Chickens
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The Problem With Chickens

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The ladies of Iceland have a problem: the birds lay their eggs in nooks on the sides of steep cliffs, so the ladies have a very difficult time getting any of the eggs for baking. They go to town to buy chickens to lay eggs for them instead. For a while, everyone is happy: there are plenty of eggs to bake plenty of yummy things. But the ladies' problems are far from solved, ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 26th 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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What an odd, imaginative, slightly kooky little book. I'm not quite sure what to make of it and dithered between being amused and bemused as I read it. Cool that it's set in Iceland, though; not many picture books are!
Feb 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jennifer by: Bulletin
Shelves: kids, picturebook, funny
The story here is problematic for me. This is a literay folktale, meaning that the author wrote it in a folktale style, and I know that foiktales often call for suspension of disbelief. However, to make this suspension work, it is important to have internal logic and that's where the story fails for me. There are already birds on the cliff that lay eggs, why go to the trouble to get the chickens there as well? Why do the chickens begin acting like ladies in the first place? The illustrations are ...more
Kind of a quirky folk-like tale. The Icelandic village ladies can't get eggs (from native birds--Puffins?) from the cliffs so they buy some chickens. This solves the egg problem in the village until the chickens start acting like women--singing, having tea, parties, etc. The women start to exercise and the chickens follow suit. The ladies tell the chickens they're birds and the chickens fly to the cliffs and resume laying eggs. However now the women, from their exercising, are now strong enough ...more
Bruce McMillan spends his summers in Iceland where this book is set, an amusing story about, well, a problem with chickens. The women in this village love to cook and the birds nest too high on the rocks to gather the eggs. Their solutions is to purchase chickens, which goes well until the companionship is so good that the chickens begin to mimic the women’s lives and forget to be chickens, thus again, no eggs. The solution to this unique problem is cleverly worked out, more whimsy than truth. T ...more
these pictures disturb me; apparently I'm not a big fan of Icelandic folk art.

And I know I'm not a big fan of chickens, except cooked ones.
This folktale relates a problem a small villiage in Iceland faces and how they fixed it. They loved to have eggs, but the brids were often on the cliffs of mountains. So they went to purchase chickens. The chickens began to take on the persona of the humans, causing noothing to get done. When the women are fed up with the chickens they devise a plan to solve their problem. This fun book can give children a quick laugh and casuse them to think of how they might solve problems.
Jay Bushara
Is this the sort of fable they tell in Iceland? Where chickens start acting like the ladies who farm them - too fussy, too clever, too soft - and then everyone commits themselves to a little yoga, some free weights, until the chickens remember what it is to be birds - flying and laying eggs - and the ladies learn how to climb mountains, and get out more? What does this tell us? About ourselves? Probably nothing. But those Icelanders sure know how to have a good time.
Michelle Knudsen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellen Brandt
This worked quite well with a Grade 2 ESL class who are studying world geography. Although this is clearly a work of fiction, it is set in a real country (Iceland). I asked the students to search the illustrations for clues about Iceland geography. We then verified the information by checking a nonfiction source
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Feb 03, 2008 Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Saara--what do you think of this?
According to the dust jacket, this is McMillan's 7th book on/set in Iceland. This was a strange tale about chickens acting like people and needing to be taught how to be birds again. I didn't like the fact that all the "ladies" were depicted as fat. I don't think they're all fat in Iceland!
Ebony Hargett
Lovely illustrated childrens book. This story clearly has a problem and clever solution. I would use this book to teach students how to introduce a problem and solution in writing stories. This book would make a great example to model for students.
Sandra Stiles
this is based on an Icelandic tale. The story is about a village of women who buy checkens for their eggs. This is great until the chickens begin to act like humans doing what they do. The women find a creative solution that has an added benefit to it.
Huh? An odd sort of tale. Chickens start acting like ladies, until the ladies come up with a plan to thwart their new-found activity.

Used for "Cheep, Oink, and Moo: Chicken, Pork, and Beef" storytime-April, 2010.
Diana Pettis
Pictures are great in this book. I think it would be a great read aloud because the old ladies in the story learn a very important lesson (K-2). Plus Bruce McMillan is a Maine author.
Nov 03, 2008 Yarb rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
Quirky, audacious artwork elevates this amusing work of chick-fic to classic status.
The premise is so much more cute than the conclusion. You finish and think--That's it?
funny little story. but also confusing... but all around pretty cute
This is a weird little book, but I like it.
Carlos marked it as to-read
Jan 11, 2015
Andrea Glassman
Andrea Glassman marked it as to-read
Aug 17, 2014
Bonnie Tesch
Bonnie Tesch marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2014
Senavene is currently reading it
Jul 04, 2014
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