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by Adam Rubin ; illustrated by Adam Rex

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-32560-5
Publisher: Putnam

A ravenous chicken leads the humans of the Ancient Times on a riotous romp.

Gladys begins her life as a dancing chicken living on a mountain with a Shepherd Boy, but her knack for being in the right place at the right time launches her on an incredible adventure. Touted as a magical wish-granting chicken, Gladys is spoiled, stolen, gifted, and bartered, until she finds her unlikely way home. Maybe Gladys is magical, maybe not, but either way, there’s no doubt that few chickens have led such an exciting life as she! Written with a cheeky tone, this offbeat story puts a modern spin on exaggerated archetypal characters known only by their capitalized titles, including a Traveling Merchant, the Brave Swordsman, the Learned Princess, and the Fearsome Pirate. An unnamed narrator adds humor that will appeal to elementary-age kids as well as adults. “Ancient Times” dialogue set on unfurling scrolls adds another comedic layer—as does Gladys’ penchant for “plooping” out an egg when faced with a surprise. Gladys’ rainbow-tinted plumage is set off by equally vibrant background hues. The painterly illustrations mix full- and double-page art with smaller, sequential artwork to achieve a cinematic effect. Melodramatic facial expressions and body language bring the characters, depicted with a range of skin tones, hair colors, and body types, to life. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Flamboyant illustrations, unexpected adventures, and larger-than-life characters anchor this zany read-aloud.

(Picture book. 5-10)