MR CHICKEN ARRIVA A ROMA
by Leigh Hobbs – Allen & Unwin, 2016
ages 2 to 8 years / funny
Mr Chicken has already been to London and Paris and now he’s off to Rome!
Young fans are bound to lap up this latest adventure, but for the uninitiated:
Mr Chicken considers himself a Citizen of the World—he loves to travel and has always dreamed of Rome.
Upon arriving in Rome he hires Federica as a guide and travels to all the city’s hot spots—incognito and on the back of a Vespa.
It’s all very quintessentially Italian – and very quintessentially Mr Chicken! There’s a funny dream sequence too where Mr Chicken imagines himself an ancient Roman emperor with his ‘face and big bottom’ on coins … and statues and pots.
I love this book because:
The totally self-explanatory and very easy to read Italian scattered throughout the story are both fun to play with (a heavy Italian accent seems to come naturally) and great for normalising languages—eg Federica calls Mr Chicken ‘Signor Pollo’ and there are lots of place and people names.
Mr Chicken’s gruff face is at odds with his inquisitive mind and his travelling heart—facial expressions are not a foolproof guide to how someone is feeling.
It makes a great Roman travel guide. If you’re planning a trip or want to vicariously see the world, Mr Chicken visits some great places.
A small reading hint:
Go hard on the Italian accents! Not only is it fun to do but playing with accents is great for kids to develop a discerning ear for their own language and second languages.
If your family likes to do a bit of armchair travel, Mr Chicken is a fun companion. He has some stellar dinner suggestions too—gelato, spaghetti, cannelloni, tagliatelle. Enjoy!