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Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens
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Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  276 ratings  ·  100 reviews
When longtime illustrator and lover of power tools Lauren Scheuer was looking for a project, she got the idea to raise backyard chickens. Her husband and teenage daughter looked on incredulously as coop sketches and chicken-raising books filled their New England home. But when the chicks arrived, the whole family fell in love with the bundles of fluff and the wild adventur ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Atria Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 615)
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Lauren Scheuer is an artist and blogger (Scratch & Peck) who decided to raise chickens after visiting a friend’s small farm – she needed a new project for the yard. She researched different breeds and designed and built her own chicken coops/enclosures and ordered her first 4 chicks – all different breeds – to arrive in the spring. Although she’d had the chicks expertly sexed before their delivery, one of them turned out to be a rooster and had to be rehomed (roosters can be a noisy nuisance ...more
Chantel Coughlin
I just read Once Upon a Flock by Lauren Scheuer, cover to cover in about 3 hours. This book is SO GOOD! I never would have thought that chickens could have such big personalities! Complete with pictures of her fun little flock - and Marky the terrier! - this is a quick, fun read that will make you think twice before ordering chicken at a restaurant ever again :)
Sarah Carr
What a great little book! It caught my eye, of course, because it was about chickens! The author is also the illustrator and there is a great mix of drawings and photos documenting her first start into chicken keeping. Through the highs and lows of her experiences I couldn't put the book down. I finished it in about 3 hours and did not want to stop reading, but had to force myself to go to bed! This was an easy read and I am going to see if my 10 year old would like to read it before it goes bac ...more
Lauren Scheuer’s Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens is a very sweet book about owning a small flock of chickens. This isn’t a how to, although anyone thinking of getting chickens is likely to find some useful information in it.

Scheuer really captures the personalities of the six chickens featured in her book. It helps that she is an illustrator who draws absolutely adorable pictures of her chickens and her family, often putting cute little drawings into photos.

Scheuer lives in Mas
Laura G. Chandler
All backyard chicken owners -- and everyone else who has ever loved someone of another species -- will relate to Lauren Scheuer's amazing book. I haven't read any other books this woman has illustrated, but the pictures in this one are perfect and enhance the story wonderfully. She has a simple-looking style that allows the chickens to express so much while still looking like real chickens. Her photos are also great and show off how ADORABLE her flock is. The book is an easy read and has a cute, ...more
I totally want to hang out with Lauren Scheuer and her chickens. She is hilarious and a whole lot nicer than I am. Whereas I jailed, sentenced, and executed my murderous Buff Orpington, she carefully separated chickens who didn't like each other, rehabilitated sick chickens, and even found a way to keep a noisy rooster around.

Her photos and illustrations (she's an artist by trade), make the book even better, adding to the humor and warmth.

I especially love her coop ideas:
coop designs photo 2014-03-28_10-39-49_653.jpg

Her sketches of chick
I had brought home a stack of interesting-looking books from the library and thought I'd spend a Sunday afternoon perusing them. I never got past this book; I read it cover-to-cover. It is just delightful. The author is an artist and has made a sort of picture book for grown-ups, with clever illustrations on nearly every page. I really like her method of placing her quirky little drawings on top of real photos. She lives in a rural area of Massachusetts in a beautiful setting. Apparently, while ...more
Deon Stonehouse
I enjoyed this light hearted memoir of Lauren Scheuer’s backyard flock. Keeping chickens is in vogue at the moment and Lauren throws herself into providing them with a distinctive and luxurious coop, it helps that she has a penchant for both design and power tools. The family dog is a bit confused as to his role with the chirping birds in his yard. Peace is negotiated and he becomes their protector, even refusing to play with his former dog pals in the backyard where the chickens forage for tast ...more
What a wonderful book. I'm an animal lover, but I never realized chickens had so much personality. I got this book on a Friday night, spent most of Saturday squeezing in a chapter here and there and finished it by late Sunday morning. Now if I can only resist the urge to build a chicken coop. Someone help me if she starts raising rabbits and writes a book about them. I'll be sunk.
First book I've read in 2013 that will definitely be going on my Best Books of the Year list. So adorably cute and funny and heartbreaking - it's the best story of how chickens really are that I've been able to find. The illustrations are perfect; both the photographs and the drawings. Love, love, love this book, and I'm absolutely buying my own copy!
This book is a light breath of fresh air. It is part graphic novel, part blog, part fiction, part non-fiction but it all works together. Scheuer's writing is heavily interspersed with cartoons and photos of her flock which adds a real connection to the stories. She has lived a parallel life to me in her learning curve about chicken keeping. She seems to be almost as enraptured as I am by the flock's antics. So many of her stories are ones that I have written myself in my own blog.
My only compla
Betsy Dudley
Illustrations are perfect! Stories are right there. If you own chickens, thinking about owning chickens and just enjoy them this book is for you. It is perfect in every way and the stories are rather endearing. Enjoyed this immensely and the best Mother's Day present ever.
Stephanie A.
With color photographs and/or illustrations on every page, colored text, semi-glossy pages and a compact size, this book is an artistic treasure. And while it seems light on text, every word is so enchanting and paints such a whimsical picture of chicken ownership (hens who are best friends! a terrier who protects the flock like a sheepdog!) that it's nothing but sheer joy from cover to cover, albeit with one sad part. I'd say it's for any age that can grasp the vocabulary.

This book also reinvi
I read this book after taking home some chicks that hatched at my library. We had one with splayed legs and I couldn't bear to send him and his friends back to the farm. I found this book sitting on the shelf just a few days later, and knew I had to read it!
I could definitely relate, especially because I also have a small terrier who is overly interested in the chickens. It was great to read the perspective of someone else who didn't have much chicken experience and see that we've experienced so
I love this book so much that I bought it even though I read almost all of it at the bookstore. The stories are funny and dear, and Lauren's wonderful illustrations grace every page.
A wonderful book with adorable illustrations. If you are an animal lover you will love this book.

Oh man, I can't wait to get my own chickens!!!!
Jun 03, 2014 SusanF added it
Really delightful. I learned a lot about chickens -- and life in rural Massachusetts. Such a different world from my own: snowy winters. The self-sufficiency needed to build chicken coops and come up with solutions for problems of severe weather and predators in the woods. I learned that one can train a dog NOT to eat small chicken dinners on legs. I love the combination of sketches by the author (who is an artist in her "day job") and photos of the little chicks, of the one who gets a crippling ...more
A quick, entertaining, heart-felt read. Perfect choice for urban farmer wanna-bes.
You think you won't cry over chickens? Think again.
Heart warming and a joy to read!
Delightful and charming read!
I loved this book!
This was a super quick, fun read. In the first few pages, I worried that Scheuer would annoy me-- she has a tendency to want to point out her own zaniness, which rubs me the wrong way. But she quickly moved past that in her efforts to just tell you about the zaniness of her chickens, and then she had me. This made me excited to get my own chickens some day. And double-bonus, her illustrations really are charming. Almost as charming as her chickens!
Denice Barker
Just plain laugh out loud fun. If you're a city person and don't own chickens, if you're a chicken owning wannabe or if you have a whole flock, this is absolutely just plain fun. Laugh-out-loud-at-l a.m.-because-you-don't-want-to-stop-reading-this fun. Your children would love reading this. Your mother would love reading this. Your reluctant reader would love reading this. For pete's sake, even vegetarians would love reading this!

Red Letter
A sneak peek of our readers' reviews:

Emry "An accurate portrayal of an increasingly popular hobby, but more than that, it’s a sweet story." Grade: A

Kathy "I loved that it was a mixed book with illustrations and text for brightness and engagement." Grade: B+

Gina aka Slappy "I went from feeling “oh my goodness …. that’s adorable” to “oh my goodness … that’s so sad.” Yes, a book about chickens made me cry." Grade: A

BakingSuit "I especially loved how this was a great balance of nature and feelings w
A must read for any backyard chicken lover. You will find yourself able to relate to many of Lauren's expierences and you will laugh and cry along the way.

The illustrations are perfect and really capture the personality of her birds.

You will find your self unable to put it down and will read through in just one day.
On one level this was a delightful, light and easy read. On another level it asks how we can live peacefully and happily with each other and with the animals of this world even if it is not in our nature to live peacefully or happily.The illustrations are a kick.
An adorably illustrated story about the author's first foray into keeping chickens, Once Upon a Flock is a great quick read. The story is diverting and fun to follow, and the illustrations keep the narrative moving along nicely.
This was a very quick & entertaining read. I finished it in a mere day, even though I was busy at the time.
I don't know what 'kind' of person you have to be to enjoy this book. I am interested in backyard chickens, so that is what drew me to it. I think if you are an animal lover, you might like it. If you were in the mood for a fun, quick summer read you might like it. I gave it to my 12-year old to read as soon as I finished... I think she will like it. I will also recommend it to my 20-y
Mary Rose
I read this in a day because I couldn't put it down. I laughed, I cried, I wanted backyard chickens more than ever. :) this book is charming & beautifully illustrated. It's one of the best books I've read this year.
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