Henry and the Crazed Chicken Pirates
written by Carolyn Crimi; illustrated by John Manders
(Candlewick Press) 2009
Source: Orange County Public Library
Rabbits with beards and mustaches. Check. Chickens with eye patches and peglegs flying a hot air balloon and shooting cannons. Check. A fun book to read with a kid who is already bored and it's only the second day of summer vacation. Check.
Henry the rabbit is living an idyllic existence on an island with the Buccaneer Bunnies. Reading books and swinging from the masts of the Salty Carrot into the lagoon is a pretty good life. Until the note. Henry is strolling along the beach when he finds a threatening message in a bottle (cue Police music). This message is from a unfriendly poultry posse that aims to take the buccaneer bunnies' loot. This worries Henry quite a bit, but none of the crew of the Salty Carrot, including Henry's dad Barnacle Black Ear (striking resemblance to Blackbeard complete with firecracker in hair), is the least bit worried. Henry channels his concerns into writing a self-help book (Henry's Plan for Impending Danger from the Unknown Enemy Who Wrote the Scary Note). Lo and behold, one morning Henry spots the Salty Carrot and sees that it has been taken over by a crazed chicken crew. It's up to Henry to be courageous and use his book reading smarts to save the Buccaneer Bunnies.
Henry and the Crazed Chicken Pirates is an entertaining read full of adventure and humor. If it's during the school year, you can read this book to teach a introductory lesson on personification or problem/solution in a fictional text. If it's summer, you have the perfect book to read again and again underneath the ceiling fan.