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Chickerella [Paperback]

Mary Jane Auch , Mary Jane and Herm Auch


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Book Description

March 2006
When Chickerella's new stepmother and stepsisters, Ovumelda and Cholestera, move in, life in the chicken coop takes a turn for the worse. Forced to cook and clean for her new family, Chickerella won't even be able to attend the Fowl Ball, that is, until her Fairy Goosemother appears. The unusually stylish Chickerella dazzles the prince in her eggsquisite gown, but at the stroke of midnight she must race home before the spell is over. Will the prince ever be able to find his love? Only a glass egg remains as a clue to her identity.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (March 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823420159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823420155
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 21 x 0.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3–"Chickerella had a wonderful chickhood until one night when a fox got into the coop and carried off her mother." Thus begins a new fractured fairy tale in which Chickerella lays glass eggs and everyone wants to go to the prince's Fowl Ball. Though Chickerella has no interest in getting married and only wants to see the fancy gowns, her stepmother will not allow her to go. To the rescue comes the Fairy Goosemother, who has a penchant for fashion design and gives good pragmatic advice such as, "Don't wait for someone else to fix things, dearie. You take charge." Unfortunately, the showy artwork tends to overwhelm the punchy story line. Handmade chicken mannequins with heads of polymer clay were dressed, adorned, and positioned on sets made from found objects and photographed. The artist then used a computer to generate scale and special effects. While full of clever details, such as Chickerella's bright orange "Chickenstock" sandals, the photographs are quite jarring. Still, this is a pun-filled story for libraries in which fractured fairy tales are popular, and the ending will satisfy children who like "eggstravaganzas."–Julie Roach, Watertown Free Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Mary Jane Auch lvoes any kind of art or craft. She made the characters in Chickerella out of Sculpey, feathers, and crocheted specialty yarns. She also designed and sewed their amazing high fashion ensembles herself using chicken mannequins.

Herm Auch has collaborated on illustrating three picture books and three chapter books with his wife, Mary Jane. He is the computer and photography specialist in the duo. He also made some of the furniture in the book. He is a retired graphic artist who devoted years to the Gannett Rochester newspaper.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 The Fowl Cinderella Jan. 30 2006
By M. Allen Greenbaum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Using stuffed chicken mannequins (!) decked out in real chickel feathers. yarn wings, and clothes made from various fabrics (including her daughter's junior prom outfit), Mary Jane Auch creates wild muppet-like figures for this poultry re-telling of the Cinderella fairy tale. The costumes are, as they say, over the top, with day-glo like colored facial features from model clay, and an assorment of jewels and accessories that only glam-rock Barbie and Ken as the artist-once-again-known-as-Prince might wear. Herm Auch, her spouse, acted as art decorator and special effects photographer, digitally inserting photographs of the model chickens into sets that he designed. It's an artistic wonder, although the often busy and slightly cluckered--that is, cluttered--illustrations will not be totally comprehensible to the youngest readers.

Speaking of chicken puns, this book is fowl of them. Some are amusing but formulaic (Extravanganza becomes "eggstravaganza," Exasperating becomes "eggasperating," and there's also "eggscited," "eggsquisite," and "eggsactly"), but others evince show a clever and mischievous mind: Chickerella's not so nice stepsisters are named "Ovumelda" and "Cholestera," and the stepmother, who looks like a washed-up B-movie actor with a taste for gaudy leopard skin jumpers, ostentatious jewl-encrusted glasses, and gelled-out stringy black hair, seems like a bad egg from the start: "'Such a sweet girl,' said the step mother with a smile that gave Chickerella hen bumps."

The fairy goosemother arrives in the nick of time, a bird that I had mixed feelings about. Her Brooklynesque accent and pop psychology bit ("Don't wait for someone else to fix things, dearie. You take charge.") seemed just a bit contrived, but the goose as fairy is a wonderful incongruity, and get has some of the funniest lines ("I don't do transportation, dearie," she says, when Chickerella remembers that a coach will be waiting for her.) The Fowl Ball (nice for the baseball fan!) has all the trappings of a high school prom, with overdressed chickens, am obligatory blue-lit dance floor with a rotating crystal hung from the ceiling, and a vie piece band, "Penny Pullet abd the ROck Island Reds. Finally, there's a happy updated entrepreneurial conclusion, as the Prince not only matches the lost crystal egg with Chickerella, but discovers they have a common interest: Fashion--not matrimoney!

Toddlers and young grade-schoolers will like the wacky retelling of the familiar story, the irrepresible punning, and the wildly imaginative costumes. A more 3-dimensional look might have reduced the visual complexity for young toddlers, but the basic story is familiar enough that They won't get lost either. Although some of the "wow" factor seems aimed towards adults, one particularlyr nice touch shows that the Auchs were thinking of their audience. A potentially disturbing opening, "Chickerella had a wonderful childhood until one night when a fox got carried into the coop and carried off her mother," is written beneath a comforting picture of Chickerella's father reading to her. Still, this is another reason I would recommend Chickerella to somewhat older little kids, or at least those who have can comprehend the fantasy underpinning, the stylized fowl, and the eggstra dose of barnyard punnery.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We both loved it! March 30 2006
By Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My five year old daughter and I simply loved this book. We giggled through the whole thing. I came to Amazon to buy some more books by Auch. Try it - you won't be disappointed!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chickerella Rules! Nov. 1 2006
By M. Fuka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I don't know which is better, the foul puns or the eggstaoridinary artwork! Great addition to our school library's fairy tale remake section.
2.0 out of 5 stars Lone voice of dissent here Feb. 3 2014
By Jon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm not sure I buy that the other reviews here are authentic. Or maybe my taste is just different. My six year old daughter brought this book home from the school library and I've had a chance to read it about three times. Each time I like it less and less. Say what you will about the imagery, which others found interesting. The story itself seems somewhat hastily slapped together and emphasizes cheap laughs (the puns mentioned by others, the stereotypes played on by the prince and "goosemother" characters, and cheesy lines----e.g....."Fashion?! Did I hear somebody say "fashion?!"). I really disliked this book, I'm sorry to say.
5.0 out of 5 stars chickerella rocks! Aug. 30 2011
By Jana Morales - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My 5-year old daughter loves this beautiful book, which was required summer reading for Kindergarten. It inspired an afternoon of crafting.
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