by Beatrice Rodriguez
Wordless picture book
Interest level: Pre-K through grade 2
4 out of 5 stars
If you are going to review a book intended for a young reader, it is important to consider the work from that angle–how will a child interpret this story? The Chicken Thief is a wordless picture book that plays on stereotypes and how we expect characters to act.
A sneaky fox snatches up a helpless chicken, whose friends take up a cross-country chase to save their friend. Because the book features no text, it is up to the observant reader to notice character’s expressions and small actions, in order to realize that all is not as it would originally seem. Young readers will delight in figuring out what is going on before the characters do.
Some adult readers may be bothered by the abduction aspect, or the jilted spouse who is visibly upset when the story concludes, but those are understandings and emotions that adults bring to the story, and it is unlikely that children will draw these conclusions. This is a fun story that is meant to explore stereotypes and acting out of character.