Picture Books for Kids: Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken


Of all the picture books for kids we’ve ever read, Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo ranks among our favorites.  Join us and the “adventurous” Melissa Gaynor from Sweet on Books as she explains why:

What You Need to Know:

• This is a hilarious story of the adventures of a sweet and adventurous chicken.
• This is a vintage DiCamillo, she never disappoints me.
• This picture book is not for the very young, it’s got a lot going on to follow. It is set up in four chapters. (It would just seem to work better for a slightly older audience 4/5 and up.)
• A slightly older audience will also understand and appreciate the humor as well as enjoy the spunky heroine (as will adults!).


Meet Louise, the not-so-chicken chicken.  Louise longs for adventure and often leaves the hen house to find it.  Along the way, she has entertaining, if not death-defying, encounters with pirates, run-away lions and once she is even imprisoned!  Whenever things get really hairy, Louise heads home and ends up with her hen-sisters in the safety of the hen house.

What makes Louise so yummy is she is “clueless” (DiCamillo’s word for her character) to how much danger she is actually in. Kind of like SweetPea in Popeye, just wandering about dodging danger at every turn, yet blissfully unaware. Ultimately, it seems Louise (or maybe just the reader) realizes her cozy home in the hen house is perhaps as satisfying as all the other hair-raising adventures she experiences.

Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken is another triumph for the award-winning Kate DiCamillo.  It is written with her trademark wit and dry, droll sense of humor.  The illustrations by Harry Bliss are great looking, expressive and full of things to look at, particuarly when Louise is “out” on an adventure. The pictures are also as hilarious as the text.

Have your children read “Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken”?  If so, let us know what they thought in the comments below!

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