Thursday, November 3, 2011


Dear Little Shop of Stories blog readers,
You may or may not know that I (Marcy) am a big fan of chickens. Right now I am particularly chicken-obsessed because I have some brand-new baby chicks at home. In my defense, my chickens are SO cute that there would have to be something wrong with me if I didn't have chickens on my mind. Look at the picture- I took that in my dining room. I mean, really. Irresistible. BUT my job is telling you about awesome books, not my pets. However, I can multitask.

So without further ado, I present to you my favorite chicken books.

1. Tillie Lays an Egg by Terry Golson. Mr. Golson is a real keeper of chickens, and is goofy enough to have written a book documenting the crazy places (like laundry baskets and the driver's seat of a truck) his hen Tillie lays her eggs. It's full of fantastic pictures (not illustrations) of his house and farmyard, and he even provides a page with picures of all the hens in his flock, and their names.

2. Coop by Michael Perry is a sequel to Truck: A Love Story and is a wonderful book to read if you like your philosophical ponderings couched in terms of funny country living misadventures. This is a man who turns his endeavors at building a chicken coop and pigpen and garden into an epic journey of the mind and spirit. If I didn't already want to live on a farm, I would have begun to want to by the time I was halfway through this book- plus, he doesn't hold back on the gritty (and often hilarious) workings of the reality of life on a small farm.

3. Extraordinary Chickens is, well, extraordinary. Just as a hypotehtical, let's say that you want to keep chickens- maybe you're even a little obsessed, not that we know anybody like that, of course- but people look at you funny when you say so. I suggest that you leave this gorgeous, gorgeous book on your coffee table. It's a collection of photos (with handy-dandy information included) of all the fun and crazy breeds of chickens you can keep. It's also a fantastic gift for anyone who is already a fan of chickens, even if they don't keep them.

4. Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, by Gail Damerowe, is the quintessential book for anyone actually wanting to keep chickens. I could go on and on about it, but if you're into chickens it would be super boring, and if you ARE into chickens, you just need to get a copy, right now, and read it immediately. It's not something we typically keep in stock, but if you call ahead we can order it for you.

5. The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez is the first in a trilogy of gloriously quirkly picture books documenting the complex relationship between a fox and a chicken. Theer are no words, so you are left to interpret the story based solely on the drawings. The bookstore staff has had many lively discussions- is it true love? Stockholm sydrome? What's the significance of the frying pan? Join us in loving this goofy book!

6. Busy Chickens is a great way to start off your little people on the route to chicken-craziness. It's sort of the board book version of Extraordinary Chickens, with rhymingly-captioned photos of chickens doing silly things. There's a whole series, with Busy Doggies, Busy Piggies, et cetera, and they are all delightful.

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