'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Review: Mr Chicken All Over Australia

Taking his two years as Australian Children's Laureate as inspiration, Leigh Hobbs has created a new adventure for his character, Mr Chicken.

Mr Chicken All Over Australia starts with Mr Chicken receiving a letter inviting him to visit.

Deciding it's a good idea, he heads off, and on arrival makes his way straight to the tourist office.

Armed with a map and letters from children all over Australia inviting him to see what makes their homes special, Mr Chicken is soon traversing the country all over, from east to west, and top to bottom.

There's nowhere too big or small for Mr Chicken. He visits many of the 'big' sightseeing spots, like the Big Pineapple in Woombye and the Big Prawn in Ballina, and travels by car, train, plane, and boat.

Mr Chicken climbs the Sydney Harbour Bridge; sleeps a night under the stars; and gets sick from eating too much pavlova and is looked after by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Wherever he goes, Mr Chicken, the intrepid explorer, is met by people welcoming him.

Leigh Hobbs has done a fabulous job of creating a story that includes so many Australian places, sights and experiences. In doing so, he has managed to include all the places he visited on his travels as Australian Children's Laureate (each of them is named somewhere in the story).

Even the endpapers capture Leigh's experience, with copies of some of the actual letters he received during his Laureateship. They give a small insight into the delight children have in reading his stories and in meeting him.

Leigh has also dedicated the book to all the kids, teachers and librarians who met him during his Laureateship.
This is a book that will be thrilling for readers all over Australia, who will be able to pore over it to find the places they know, as well as those they don't.

Mr Chicken All Over Australia is a triumph and certain to be as well-loved as other Mr Chicken escapades. A worthy adddition to bookshelves everywhere.

Title: Mr Chicken All Over Australia
Author/Illustrator: Leigh Hobbs
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760296964
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture book