The Chicken Sisters decided to throw a barn party, so they made a poster clearly inviting ALL the animals to the event. They assigned the egotistical Cockerel the task of displaying the invitation poster in a prominent position where it would be clearly visible to all the animals – and that he did- however when it dawns on the Chicken Sisters that not one of the animals had even commented on the upcoming party, they are concerned that something is not quite right.
They soon allay each other’s fears in concluding that the reason for the animals’ apparent lack of interest must be that they are busy getting ready for the event. A little later they come upon their invitation poster and notice that their message had been altered - Cockerel had replaced ‘all welcome’ with ‘by invitation only’.
Of course, in keeping with this new criterion, the haughty Cockerel set about personally un-inviting each animal and as justification for his decision, cited their natural characteristics as grounds of their ‘ineligibility’ to attend the party. Cockerel had not wanted to be in the company of any creature which was not as splendid and magnificent as himself.
He arrived at the party in all his splendour, but before long, the animals had transformed Cockerel into the epitome of all the ‘flaws’ by which he had categorised and ostracised them.This is a simple yet very effective illustration of the folly and blindness of egotism and superciliousness and the impacts of behaviour driven by these.
O’Brien has artfully used a farm setting to tell a meaningful, moral-rich story about diversity in child-friendly terms. Key messages include: accept others for who they are- by nature we are ALL ‘flawed’ regardless of how pristine we may look- haughtiness often leads to loneliness- and at is wrong to usurp another person’s bonafide activity and use it as a vehicle for imposing one’s own unsavoury actions.One of the ‘I am Reading’ series, this book boasts an unintimidating font size, double spaced lines, and simple, childlike, expressive colour illustrations that will enable young readers to sense the moods and emotions addressed.
Serious content, delicately yet effectively presented.