Story is a basic way of organizing our human experiences, a framework for learning. We search for our own stories in the stories of others.
When Chickens Fly
Winters, Kari-Lynn. (2012; second edition). Illustrated by Izabela Bzymek. Richmond, BC: Tickle Trunk Publications. 32 pages. Ages 4-9.
Esper Getz is no ordinary chicken. She dreams of being a free range aerial skier and competing in the Snow Sports Competition. Though she is prepared and talented, the rules state that barnyard animals cannot compete. But will the Arranging Committee squash her dreams because she’s JUST a chicken? Join Esper on this hilarious journey and find out what it really takes to be a winner!
This story resonates with the exclusion of women from the ski jumping competition in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games (Vancouver).
Worthy stories beg response from readers, by Beverley Brenna, Star-Phoenix September 11, 2010
The beginning of a new school year is a good time to reflect on personal goals and ways to attain them.
Kari-Lynn Winters’ new picture book, When Chickens Fly, illustrated by Izabela Bzymek (Gumboot Books, 2009, $13.99), is intended for ages 4-9 but may also find a place with older students as a discussion starter about dreams and obstacles as well as acceptance of diversity.
Not content with producing Grade A eggs for the Snow Sports Competition, Esper Getz — Chicken Extraordinaire — practises her skiing in anticipation of the event. When her application is rejected, the bad news spreads to chicken coops around the world. In response, Esper’s feathered friends go on strike, the resulting lack of eggs putting farmers, drivers and chefs out of work while athletes miss their usual protein fix. When Esper finally has a chance to prove herself, this ‘free range aerialist’ doesn’t disappoint.
Comical illustrations complement a clever text that uses puns and repetition to relate a worthy story reminiscent of the exclusion of women from the ski jumping competition in Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Highly recommended.
Winters’ publisher, Gumboot Books, is a Vancouver based company founded in 2006, platform of which includes the fostering of a sense of social responsibility and respect for our planet and all who share it. Consult www.gumbootbooks.ca for information on its other titles.
When Chickens Fly is included in Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC Olympics books and Vikki Vansickle, Bookseller and Children’s Literature Scholar, Olympic books.
Knitters save the Frogs and have a yarn to tell, by Jan Markley, May 13 2010
Just to follow up on the theme of saving the frogs, if you are anything like twin protag Jane in Dead Frog on the Porch you’ll like this. Jane, an animal lover turned pint-sized activist, refused to dissect her frog in science class. Maybe she could have turned in this as her science project. It’s a knitted dissected frog which was produced by Knitting in Biology 101. You can also get the pattern so you can knit-one-croak-two.
Maybe the Save the Frogs people should get together with the knitters I met in London, England during the public display of knitting (throw in a few knitters for peace) and you’d have a revolutionary yarn to tell (pun entirely intended, not necessarily funny).
When Chickens Fly
And to think I told my students in my Writing with Humour course to limit the use of puns because they aren’t always punny. Except of course when they are used with panache, like they are in Kari-Lynn Winters‘ picture book When Chickens Fly (Gumboot Books and illustrated by Izabela Bzymek). It is a hilarious book about a chicken who dares to soar. It makes ample and expert use of puns and the illustrations are brilliant. Check out When Chickens Fly it’s very punny … I mean funny!
Kari is available to visit schools, libraries, birthday parties, workshops … Please see more about author visits.