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****Henrietta and the Golden Egg

by Hanna Johansen

Pictures by Käthi Bhend

Translated by John Barrett

Reviewed May 25, 2003.
First published in Switzerland in 1998.
David R. Godine, Publisher, Boston, 2002.  64 pages.
Available at Sembach Library  (E JOH).
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #7, New Picture Books

Henrietta is a little hen with big dreams.  She lives in a giant chicken house with three thousand, three hundred and thirty-three chickens.  Henrietta tells the bigger chickens that when she gets old enough, she’s going to lay golden eggs.  Since she’s too little now, she decides to use her time by learning to sing.  The older chickens tell her to not even bother trying.

Henrietta’s efforts yield surprising results.  She goes on to decide she wants to learn to fly and then to swim.  The big chickens tell her to not even bother trying.  When Henrietta’s efforts make everyone’s lives better, the hens aren’t sure what to expect when Henrietta finally gets big enough to lay her first egg.

This is a charming little book about persistence.  The old-fashioned, black-and-white illustrations are full of fascinating details.  The story is simply told and leaves lots to the imagination of the reader.  This book is a delight.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved. 

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