John Joe and the Big Hen
Digital version – browse, print or download
Receive the latest news & reviews direct to your inbox!
Toddler John Joe is inadvertently abandoned by his sibling minders, and finds himself alone in a neighbour's farmyard, confronted by a hen which is easily big enough to swallow him whole. His flight is followed by a panicky search by his brother and sister, and a rescue by the loyal family dog. This is a beautiful and accessible book. The Arcadian setting, depicted in gentle but carefully detailed water colours, intensifies its nursery rhyme atmosphere. The repetitions in the text add to the mild tension of the adventure, and should enhance its readability for younger children who will probably want to read it over again on their own.