Created by Laura Abbott

Henrietta and the Golden Eggs by Hanna Johansen

Johansen, Hanna. Henrietta and the Golden Eggs. Illustrated by Kathi Bhend-Zaugg. Translated by John S. Barrett. David R. Godine Publisher, 2002. 64 pages. Tr. $16.95. ISBN 978-1-56792-210-3.

Annotation: In a hen house with 3,333 other chickens, Henrietta, an ambitious pullet, decides to pursue her dreams of laying golden eggs. As she does so, she betters life on the farm for all chickens.

Summary: Originally published in German, this tale of farm life in the hen house centers upon Henrietta, a little chicken with big dreams. Clever Henrietta escapes the confining hen house three times to learn to sing, swim, and fly. In the process she creates utter chaos on the farm but ultimately improves the living conditions for her 3,333 fellow chickens. As she escapes for a fourth time, there is the question of whether or not this brave and resourceful chicken can, indeed, lay golden eggs.

Evaluation: The lively pen-and-ink illustrations printed in black and white reveal the silly antics on the farm. The expressive artwork is superbly matched to the straightforward text. The details add a touch of humor to the hearty story of being brave enough to pursue one’s dreams despite obstacles. Recommended for ages 4 to 9.

Genre / Subject: Juvenile Fiction, Fable, Animals, Chickens, Farms, Aspirations

Awards: 2003 Mildred L. Batchelder Award Honor Book, 2003 ALA Notable Books for Children