"Marvin's not a chick anymore,
It's MARVELLOUS to see him grow,
His feathers are now speckled and sleek,
And one day he started to CROW!"
Teenage Marvin is trying to find his flock. He meets many animals on the farm, but will any of them be Marvin's friend... and who will be Marvin's family?
Children will enjoy following the journey of this handsome, cocky young rooster who doesn't find it easy to make friends.
The beautiful illustrations are by Fifi Colston.
Nadia Lim is well known for her food-associated exploits, so I was intrigued to read this book written by her. Marvin Makes a Friend is a delightful book inspired by a true story. The first couple of pages features photos of Nadia and her chickens; Marvin, Martha, the 'Bachelors' and the 'Cool Chicks'. This was a nice touch as it bought the story to life.
The illustrations by Fifi Colston are amazingly drawn and very true to the aforementioned photographs. I did notice that there is a little bee that features on each page spread so it would be fun for little ones to try and find this whilst reading. The book is about a small rooster called Marvin, who tries to find a family. Because he is quite annoying, nobody wants him in their family. Whilst there are cows, lambs, and young boys that will be his friends, he doesn't find anyone until the last page. Each page features roughly four lines of large text with the occasional word highlighted, or in capitals, for emphasis. There is also rhyme in the text, with the last word on the second and fourth line rhyming, making it a great resource for the classroom when teaching rhyme.
There are more added extras at the back of the book with 'Fun Facts about Nadia's Family Farm' which gives you some interesting facts on sunflowers, bees, lambs, cattle, and even poo! A recipe for Corn Fritters is also included, along with photos of Nadia and her whanau on the farm and lastly, an update on Marvin. This informs us that he was hand-reared and only became troublesome at three months of age. After a few adjustments, he has been accepted by the flock and lives happily amongst the other chickens.
I thought this was a great book for children. Even though I think the book is aimed at a young audience, my 11-year-old and 13-year-old both enjoyed the story, looking at the pictures and reading about Marvin at the end. This would also make a fabulous gift for young children.
Mr Three loves going to kindergarten. Not only does he get to play with other children his own age, but he also enjoys the resident chickens that have been raised from eggs. Having your own baby animals is exciting for those who live on a farm, but for city kids, rearing them in a group like this is almost as rewarding. When he found he was going to be helping me review a new book about a chicken, he was excited and could not wait to start reading.
Marvin, the hero of the story, is actually quite mean. He is bossy and pecks the smaller chicks. As a result, nobody wants to be his friend. This is a lesson that Mr Three quickly learned himself when he first went to kindergarten - if you want to have friends you have to be nice to people, not pick on them or injure them! He understood exactly why Marvin was lonely and felt rejected, and suggested it might be wise to apologise to his victims. Miss Five, his older sister, did not think Marvin was nice at all, and said he should get his act together and start being kind for a change.
Both children thought that Marvin should acknowledge his aggressive behaviour before trying to make friends. Mr Three said he was disappointed that Marvin did not say he was sorry. He was glad that Marvin found other friends on the farm, and finally found his own family at the end of the story, but thought that the hen who befriended him was rather too kind. Hopefully, Marvin had learned his lesson and would treat her well, but we just have to hope that this was the case.
The illustrations are delightful; in particular, we enjoyed the expressions on the Cool Chicks' and Bachelors' faces when they effectively tell Marvin to get lost! Not that anyone could blame them because he had behaved so badly of course. We also liked the photographs of the real-life birds at the start of the book as it brought home the fact that this is a true story, based on the different birds and animals on Nadia Lim's own farm.
The information pages at the back of the book are fun - even Mr Three was interested. Often these pages are too complicated for little ones to understand, but these were well within his grasp. He was fascinated by the "fun facts" about the flora and fauna on and around the farm, and was looking forward to making the corn fritters with mum or dad. Luckily, he does not have any pet chickens at home to steal them before he can have a taste!
Random listing from 'Books'...
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• Best Friends Showdown
• Ballet Stars
• The New Girl
Meet Ella and Olivia. Big sister. Little sister. Best Friends. Ella and Olivia do everything together. No matter what, they will always be there for each other! ... more...
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