Reviews /

The Little Green Hen

Authored by Alison MurrayI
Illustrated by Alison Murray
Published by Orchard Books

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The Little Green Hen is a super retelling of The Little Red Hen. I suspect that teachers of early years and infant classes will be delighted by it. It is perfect for several reasons. First and foremost, it is great fun. Alison Murray knows how to grab young readers’ attention.  The Little Green Hen lives in an old apple tree. She cares for the tree and plants apple seeds to ensure sustainability. But caring for them as they grow becomes hard work. ‘Who would like to help me tend the apple trees?’ she asks.  Children will enjoy the turns and twists and, for those who know the traditional tale, there are, of course, lots of inter-textual references.

The illustrations are appealing and humourous with vivid colours, fabulous use of line and great characterisation. Look at that wonderful image of Little Green Hen on the front cover for example! The text flows beautifully with a very traditional feel and is simple enough for beginning readers to negotiate on their own. Finally, it has a very strong – but subtly delivered – message about cooperating as a community and caring for our shared environment.

Teachers who are looking for ways into discussing climate change with young children, but who may be nervous about making children fearful, will really like this book. This is because it provides children with some possible ‘green’ solutions. Children who feel they can do something about helping the environment will perhaps, feel less anxious. And, helped by caring parents and teachers, The Little Green Hen certainly provides young readers with ideas for small but important climate action.