Chicken Lily
Chicken Lily

Chicken Lily

Written by Lori Mortensen & illustrated by Nina Victor Crittenden
4 - 7
Reading age
Page count
Mar 29, 2016
Publication date

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What Does Bookroo Think of Chicken Lily

Punny is the order of the day in this egg-cellent book about a not-so-chicken Lily.

When quiet, careful Lily discovers she’s expected to participate in a poetry jam at school, she’s terrified. But with the encouragement of her friends and through her own determination, she discovers poems are like puzzles and something she can figure out. Chicken Lily the book mirrors Chicken Lily the character: it mostly plays it safe but provides genuine pleasure to others when it stretches to do something unique and original. With a fairly simple topic, a predictable storyline, and pleasant illustrations, it would be well on its way to becoming nothing more than a good option to bring out occasionally for discussions about overcoming fears. However, by trying something a little new, the book becomes more noteworthy: it shines when it comes to clever puns. These witty inclusions—from Lily’s friends’ fitting lunch selections (Baabette the sheep is, of course, having shepherd’s pie, while Pigsley opts for a sloppy joe), to the inclusion of a bouquet of carrots on Mrs. Lop’s desk, to Lily’s to-do list with various cultural poultry references—add pizzazz and a layer of humor that older readers will enjoy as much as younger. Astute observers will notice that Lily does not actually overcome her fear of participating in the poetry slam; rather, despite her fear, she perseveres through sheer willpower. They’ll also see Lily’s growth cleverly demonstrated throughout the story, not just through the text, but also through the illustrations, where Lily moves from a 24 to a 500 piece puzzle and loses her training wheels by the end of the book!

What Kind of Book is Chicken Lily


chickensfacing fears  social themesfeelings and emotionsducks, geese, etc.feeling scareddomestic animalsstage fright


    Character sketch by Nina Crittenden
    Sketch of Lily

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • Lily is nervous about a lot of things, but by the end of the book she has developed the courage to participate even though it scares her. Are there things that you are scared of? How can you use Lily's example to conquer your fears?
  • A poetry slam is the order of the day in *Chicken Lily*. Take time to learn a little bit about poetry. Lily uses rhymes to create her poem, as do her classmates. Consider writing your own poem, or simply playing a rhyming game!


Book Lists That Include Chicken Lily

The Creatives Behind the Book

Trivia to Know About Chicken Lily

What Has Lori Mortensen Said About This Book

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What Has Nina Victor Crittenden Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date
March 29, 2016
Henry Holt and Co (BYR)
Illustration Details
The art for this book was created with watercolor, pen, and ink on Arches hot pressed watercolor paper.
Page Count
Reading Age
4 - 7 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)

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