Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Barn Party

Barn Party

Claire O'Brien
Illustrator:  Tim Archbold 
For ages 5 to 7
Roaring Brook Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-0753458549

When the Chicken Sisters announce that they are going to be giving a party, everyone in the barn yard is excited. There is one problem though – Rooster does not think that any of the animals who are "dirty" or "messy" should be invited. He therefore takes it upon himself to make an adjustment to the open invitation. He crosses out "All Welcome" and writes in "By invitation only."

Rooster then goes into the yard and he tells the cow, the goat, the duck and the dog that they are not invited because they are too wet, too dirty, too "big and sloppy" and so on. In fact Rooster manages to upset everyone with his unkind remarks. So much so in fact, that the uninvited animals decide that they will have their own party, a party where being terribly tidy and clean is not required.

With deliciously funny multimedia artwork, a simple text and mini chapters, this is a wonderful beginning reader for children who are just starting to read for themselves. They will delight in Rooster's well earned punishment, and in the kindness of the other farm animals who decide to forgive the foolish bird. In the end Rooster learns that he has to accept others "just the way" they are, complete with dirt, fleas, and odd eating habits.