Shelly Hen Lays Eggs

Authored by Deborah Chancellor
Illustrated by Julia Groves
Published by Scallywag Press

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The third in this Follow My Food series introduces readers to Shelly Hen, a beautiful free-range hen. We have already met Milly the Cow and Polly the Bee, following the journey of milk and honey. This brilliantly illustrated series is informative and fascinating for younger readers who are curious about where our food comes from and how these animals are cared for on farms and in nature.

Told as a story by a young boy narrator as he follows Shelly through a normal day of having dust baths, naps and finding food. The fact that Shelly is a free-range hen allows the discussion on the importance of animals having time and space to grow and live naturally. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle and the importance of farming. All three books in the series allow children the opportunity to get up close and in depth with the idea of the farm to fork concept. Children will be familiar with each animal but perhaps haven’t made the link of what products are associated with them.

With a fun quiz at the end, there are also opportunities to read more information about hens for those with enquiring minds. I was fascinated by the extra information and although I knew the journey of an egg, I still found new pieces of information to learn. I didn’t know that chickens had dust baths to rid themselves of mites or that they tucked their heads under their wings to get some sleep. Simple facts like this make trips to farms or allotments more exciting!

Scallywag Press have produced some lesson plans to accompany each Follow my Food title and these are excellent support for teachers wanting to use these in class.

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