by Michelle Worthington
& Nicky Johnston
On the surface it’s a sweet little story, but it has serious intent. The dedication at the front gives the clue –
For all the mamas who feel broken but are glued together with love.
What happens when the primary carer needs care herself? Through the simple and straightforward text by Michelle Worthington, children are subtly prompted to relate with understanding.
Anyone who has kept hens will recognize the realistic chooky postures in Nicky Johnston’s pictures. There are other good touches here too that children will like – a boy hanging on a revolving clothesline trying to get momentum to ride around.
There’s more to the illustrations than this though – they are more than just pictures to entertain and amuse little ones. See how the children and the hens are paired within them and you’ll appreciate how they are cleverly designed so the hens represent the children – Mama’s human chicks.
The actual situation of a mother suffering from developing dementia will be fully relevant to only a few households with young children, but the wider message of family relationships underpinned by acceptance and love should be universal.
Author: Michelle Worthington; illustrator Nicky Johnston
Publisher: EK books