Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Fox and the Hen by Eric Battut

This is one of the most delightful of the crafty fox and silly hen stories. A sweet but naive hen gives her newly laid egg to a red fox in exchange for a worm. When she returns to the barnyard and announces the trade, her animal friends are appalled and implore her to go back to the fox and retrieve her egg. Fox, of course, refuses. Hen returns and reports the sad news. And so begins the animals' plan to help hen--each animal takes a turn accompanying Hen to Fox, offering all kinds of wonderful gifts: wool, cheese, feathers, seeds, milk. Fox rejects everything, saying each time how he might cook the egg: fried, scrambled, or hard boiled. Hen and her friends , undaunted, find an enormous oval stone, paint it white, and tempt Fox for one last time. It works! His eyes are bigger than his stomach. Hen is reunited with her egg, which hatches shortly after they return to the barnyard. Happiness prevails. Meanwhile, Fox is wondering why the giant egg is taking so darn long to cook. The illustrations are done in vivid shades of red and orange with the animals outlined in black. 2011.


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