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Bitter with Baggage Seeks Same: The Life and Times of Some Chickens

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  578 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Chickens show off their human side in Sloane Tanen's irresistible dioramas.

With more personality than most people have to spare, New York artist Sloane Tanen's tiny yellow chickens negotiate the tricky modern world, filled with three-headed blind dates, menacing KFCs, playground popularity battles, and annoyingly crowded yoga classes. They perch amid doll furniture, in sce
Hardcover, 74 pages
Published 2003 by Bloomsbury
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  578 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Anna Richland
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, chickens
This is in the genre I'd call "adult picture book." It's cute, but not quite memorable enough. One thing I found really interesting was comparing the photo spreads with the mini dioramas of the same image that are on the endpapers. They seem to have been changed quite a bit before being shot for the book. ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: olio
I loved this book.

A few years ago I asked for a copy of the "chick book" for Christmas. It reminds me a little bit of Anne Taintor, but, you know, with chickens.
Oct 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: laughoutloud
It's hard to describe this book without just handing it to you and sitting back to watch your reaction, because I tell you, I'd love to watch every single person I know read it. It's so hysterical.

Sloane Tanen is a visual artist in New York City. She makes these little shadow boxes with plastic chickens that live out modern day situations, both normal and fantastical.

In one, a chick is sitting on a bed facing a little frog, who is wearing a crown. The caption reads "Anastasia was through makin
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chicks portrayed humorously.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not everyone's sense of humor, but certainly mine. Kids didn't get it, but I laughed and laughed.

It's tough explaining this book to someone who hasn't seen it: "See, she takes these little toy fluffy chicks and surrounds them with props and sets the scenes and takes pictures of them, then writes these captions...". About this time, the person you're talking to (my husband) gives you a strange look and you say, weakly, "It's not for everyone..."
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Those tiny chenille chicks you see for sale at craft and knickknack stores every Easter season get outsize personalities in this bizarre and funny book. It's hard to describe just how weird this gets at times, and I can't help but wonder at the looks the artist must have received when buying hundreds upon hundreds of tiny toy chickens. ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-tangible
Cute and occasionally funny. I definitely have a few favourite panels and I enjoyed studying each scene. It was fun to see reoccurring characters and props throughout the book as well. It's a nice coffee table book for visitors to flip through. ...more
Jun 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The fact that this woman makes money off of designing little sets with little chickens and photographing them and putting them in books with funny quotes makes me jealous. I want to do that.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some pictures made me smile. Perhaps you need to be high and/or drunk to really appreciate it.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
A few favorites here, but I think I'd prefer an exhibit to a book in this case. ...more
Cathy Hodge
Oct 27, 2021 rated it liked it
The photos of the chickens are darling. This book is Mature humor only. I like the caption by Sloane Tanen.
Here is a quote:
"There was an old actress named Ruth
More than slightly obsessed with her youth
But no liposuction
Or deep reconstruction
Could soothe her like gin and vermouth"

Big Thanks to my friend Karen for recommending this book. It is going in the Little Free Library if you would like to read it.
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sloane-tanen
I bought this book for my sister (the chicken lady). But after reading it, I don't think I want to give it up yet. I need to keep it on the coffee table and share the humor with everyone. Inside the book cover are numerous photos of dioramas. Each page is a cute paragraph with a scene of a fluffy wire chick in various situations. Fabulous! ...more
Laura Ostermeyer
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book that must be read, with photographs of incredible dioramas, that must be seen to truly be appreciated! I don't think I've laughed as hard in ages while reading a book! As an avid miniaturist, with a warped sense of humor, this book struck a chord with me. I highly suggest getting a copy and can't wait to get my hands on her other works! BRILLIANT! ...more
Apr 10, 2022 rated it really liked it
What. the. actual. hell. did I just read? I am giving this a 4 because it felt like a joke I didn't understand and that maybe if I understood it I would think it was so hilariously brilliant that I would regret not rating it higher. ...more
Julianne Burk
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! 5 stars for innovating with chickens!
Tracy Dorsett
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: enjoyed
Read these books several years ago. They made me laugh until I had tears in my eyes. I will loan them out to special people, but I always make sure I get them back.
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the dioramas - they're so creative! ...more
Jul 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Found this randomly, well worth a gander!
Karen Shipman
Oct 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Chickens face human issues
Mar 01, 2022 rated it really liked it
Delightful. Perfect quirky coffee table book.
Apr 21, 2022 rated it liked it
Cute. A little weird, but cute.
Jun 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I got this for my birthday and I love the scenes put together with the chickens.
Teresa Medeiros
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first fell in love with Sloane Tanen’s work when I read the caption above a photo with a little chicken sitting on a swing set and peering around the playground: “Samantha looked around the playground in amazement. Her mother had been right. She really WAS the smartest and the prettiest.” Now I ask you--has there ever been a more apt mascot for me and some of my equally ambitious writer friends?

If you thought you had to give up picture books when you graduated from second grade, have I got a
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This is certainly not fine literature, more of a tongue in cheek collection of artworks and scenarios with baby chickens telling crazy tales. It was definitely good for flipping through with my sister and laughing at many of the pages. :p

Some of my favorites:
A chicken with another between her legs in what looks like a tiny dentist chair with the caption: Had Saffron fully grasped the excruciating pains of childbirth she would have insisted on the epidural from the first. What cared what the midw
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Scoop:

What's there to say? Sloane Tanen creates super cute dioramas featuring super cute chicks in entertaining situations.

My Thoughts:

I first came across this book by way of her children's books. And, really, who doesn't think chicks aren't cute? Not me. I love chickens. I'll prove it--just look at my own personal flock:

Anyway, this is a cute, clever, quick read that packs a punch and not a few laughs. It usually takes a bit for me to work up the energy (or the appreciation) to let loose wi
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Picture Book. Does what it says on the box -- dioramas of some chickens, with funny captions. The pictures are great, fun for looking at, or, if you're like me, for squinting at and thinking, "I bet she used hair gel for the water..." The captions are funny or sad, or both. My favorite: "Anastasia was through making out with Ian. He was never going to change." Ian, here, is a frog. The tone -- dry, flippant, and reminiscent of Anne Taintor -- makes this book a keeper.

Five stars for awesomeness.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I never knew I could laugh so hard at pipe cleaners! Mildly inappropriate, what appears at first glance to be a children's picture book, was definitely not written for children. Join Coco, Cinderella, and all their friends as they whine, bitch, and complain about their lot in life. There's a chicken serial killer, a vengeful toddler in a playpen (think Stewie as a chicken), and the proverbial "which came first" discussion.

I hear that the author, SloaneTanen, actually sells the dioramas. I would
Jun 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: art
This book was really kind of dumb. It was on display for the my library's adult summer reading program, and it looked kind of fun, so I borrowed it. What a dud!

The book consists of photographs of shadow box type installations in which fake fluffy yellow chicks do human things, expression human emotions. I wish there had been some context to the fluffy chick installations. Why were they done? Why of why? What do they mean? What are they for?

Is this art? Really?
Mary Cartledgehayes
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, humor
Peeps photo-ops. Who knew what all they were up to? The cleverness of the staging is matched by the accompanying text.

My favorite: A bed with a linen coverlet. Beside is a wooden chest of drawers upon which is a candle in a candlestick. At the head of the bed is the wide-eyed, long-eyelashed peep, wearing a crown. In front of her? One frog, green.

The text: Anastasia was through making out with Ian. He was never going to change.

Pure fun.
Jun 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
If you have not seen this series you are missing out on some pretty funny artwork projects using chickens. My little niece thinks the pictures are great, I just don't read her the *very adult* captions below them. The author hits the nail on the head when it comes to women of today's generation in NYC. I can't say how many times I've re-read these or shown them to other people. ...more
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Author of nine books including Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same--being re-released by Bloomsbury January, 2019. New novel There's A Word For That, coming from Little, Brown on April, 2019

Instagram: sloane.tanen

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