Rocky; Chicken in a Basket
Digital version – browse, print or download
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Chicken in a Basket
Illustrated by Jonathan Allen
Short, straightforward stories in clear, large print well broken up by illustrations give these books their 'perfect for new readers' tag.
In Rocky, Ruby, jealous of her sister's new kitten, takes on the care of a friendly-looking rock from the garden, her invention proving a match for her sister's challenging superiority. Naturally both 'pets' win prizes in the Pet Show, but far from bringing the sisters together, this becomes part of Ruby's plan to win the kitten's affections. A more imaginative story than usual in this genre, then, the point-scoring plotting of the two sisters giving it a sharp edge. 'They're both selfish' said my reader - so, could be useful in discussions of motivation and sibling rivalry.
Chicken is based, apparently, on a true episode - the first ever balloon flight was made by three farmyard animals in the Montgolfier brothers' balloon. There we depart from historical fact: in this version they are talking animals who also figure out how to prevent the balloon from crashing. A dotty but highly enjoyable read for the novice reader.