Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Chicken Thief (The)
by Beatrice Rodriguez
Age Range: 6-8
One beautiful morning rabbit and bear are about to have breakfast while the rooster, hens and chicks are enjoying the morning sun. Unknown to them, a hungry fox is lurking in the undergrowth. Suddenly, he grabs one of the chickens and races off into the forest. Rooster, Bear and Rabbit are mortified and set off in hot pursuit through the woods, over mountains, and across the sea to try and rescue their friend. When at last the three finally confront the fox in his own home they are in for a very big surprise!
Initially, Chicken is stolen for Fox’s planned dinner, but over the course of the days she spends with Fox the two form a close bond. Fox and Chicken's burgeoning relationship is gleaned through the illustrations of them playing chess together and enjoying a day out on the river.
The pen-and-ink drawings coloured in with watercolour are exquisite. On every two-page spread there are always tiny details to spot such as the arrows showing the path Fox and Chicken take to get out of the mountains, or the badminton racquets and shuttlecock sitting on Fox's hearth. The French breakfast and café style chairs that Rabbit and Bear are sitting on, or the utterly dejected rooster at the end of the story.
The shape of the book also plays its part in how the story progresses. The long, thin shape is perfect for what is essentially one long cross-country chase sequence. Some images take up two full pages while others confuse your sense of perspective – Fox sleeping in a tree on the right-hand page while the other characters are in a tree farther away on the left-hand page. The reader finds themselves drawn to seeking out the fox first and then doubling back to see where the other animals are. This is such a riveting book that you could spend hours exploring every detail. To create a picture book without words requires a skill of excellent visual storytelling and this book certainly doesn’t disappoint.