Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Emma at the fair

Emma at the fair

Margriet Ruurs
Illustrator:  Barbara Spurll 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2007   ISBN: 978-1550051278

Emma the white hen is happily pursuing some flies through the autumnal garden when she comes face to face with a jack-o’-lantern. Poor Emma has no idea what this big round orange face is but she does not like the look of it and she prepares herself for the worst. Luckily the children then arrive on the scene and the boy picks up the pumpkin while the girl picks up Emma. It is time to go to the fair. Both children hope to win a ribbon with their entries.

When Emma hears that the girl wants Emma to win a ribbon, Emma is very willing to oblige. The problem is that the hen is not sure what she is supposed to do to win this ribbon. Is she supposed to crow like the roosters, strut like the turkeys, or “plop” like the pigeons? Being an accommodating sort of hen Emma tries crowing and strutting but she refuses to “plop.” After all there are some things even a chicken won’t do!

In the end poor Emma is quite worn out with all her efforts and she decides to do what she does best. She lays a beautiful egg, she has a nap, and when the judge comes around, Emma is the best white hen she can be.

This sweet picture book can be enjoyed on several levels. Not only is it a grand seasonal title but it also emphasizes the need for everyone to be who they are and to be true to themselves no matter what. With amusing cartoon style artwork to accompany the story, this picture book is sure to be enjoyed by all.