The story, usually (and exactly) Englished as ‘It’s Perfectly True’, is of the simplest: Chinese whispers in a chicken-house. One of the hens, dropping a feather, remarks to herself in fun ‘Oooh, the more that happens, the prettier I look’, and before long various neighbours have expanded upon that – in strictest confidence, of course – until the message is that five chickens have plucked themselves naked for love of the cock.
It’s a typical Andersen dig at one of society’s typical failings and its telling flows easily from one gossip-monger to the next. Unfortunately that is not reflected in the present version where a rather wooden translation is printed in sans serif which occasionally is enlarged to vast exclamatory phrases printed in white. And that heavyweight typographic design is matched by flat, two-dimensional images, mostly of gormless hens, framed on pages of variegated bright inks. For sure, for sure, it’s a classy bit of production but it doesn’t fit the demands of the story.