Mr Chicken Lands on London by Leigh Hobbs (author, illustrator), Allen&Unwin, 2014.
Leigh Hobbs is the author and illustrator of over 20 books for children. Some of his iconic characters include Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig, Mr Chicken and Mr Badger. Leigh has always had a passion for art, history and culture, and his books certainly reflect these with his own distinctive flair and rousing sense of humour. On February 8th 2016 it was announced that Leigh is to follow on Jackie French’s position of Australian Children’s Laureate; a well-deserved, prestigious role to “promote the importance of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.”(www.childrenslaureate.org.au)
Mr Chicken Lands on London REVIEW:
Following on from Mr Chicken’s grand adventures in Paris, in flies this zippy character once again. This time he’s visiting his (and Leigh’s) favourite city in the world – London.
Without hesitation, Mr Chicken grabs his camera and his parachute and makes a splashing entrance into the River Thames. His extremely busy schedule waits for no chicken as the yellow bird escapades gallantly around the city. From the fancy Savoy Hotel and dining on a full English breakfast, Mr Chicken makes good use of his time in London. His first port of call is to visit the Queen (well, excuse me!) before exploring attractions like St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. He also takes charge by driving double-decker buses, topping a tall column at Trafalgar Square, circling the London Eye and becoming one with the beating heart of London – Big Ben. His stay is only short-lived, but my guess is, this traveling chook will be back again soon!
Humorous, entertaining, and a delightful kind of sensory overload, Mr Chicken Lands on London will tickle the fancy of all readers, big and small. Leigh Hobbs’ intricate and distinctive style of art in this wonderful array of events is sure to create plenty of memorable, shared experiences for readers and viewers, alike.
1. Name three (3) other (not mentioned above) London attractions that Mr Chicken visited.
2. What is the name of the building where the Queen lives?
3. What game does Mr Chicken play on the London Eye?
4. Which city will Mr Chicken be heading to next?
DISCUSSION / ACTIVITIES:
– HISTORY / GEOGRAPHY / TECHNOLOGY.
Look at the map of London on the endpapers. Name and discuss the different attractions and landmarks. Have you been there before? What do you know about them? What is the significance of each of them?
RICH ASSESSMENT TASK:
Look at and discuss a real map of London. Pick one attraction or landmark for research and create a poster or Slideshow presentation to explain your findings.
– SOCIAL STUDIES / LITERACY.
What can you tell about Mr Chicken’s personality? What are some behaviours that showed his kindness? What are some cheeky things that Mr Chicken did? How do you think Mr Chicken felt about London? How do you know?
Name and list some adjectives to describe Mr Chicken, or write a personality profile listing his likes, dislikes, traits, quirks, etc.
– VISUAL ART / CULTURE.
Choose a page spread to explore. What do you notice in these illustrations? What clues can you see that tell you more about the location? How has Leigh Hobbs depicted the atmosphere of the city and the nature of the people? What kinds of visual media has he used and how does it suit its purpose?
Where does Mr Chicken visit to see art? What famous works and artists might you find there? Have a look at and discuss some of these and their history.
Create your own line, watercolour and collage picture showcasing your favourite part of London (or your own favourite place).
See if you can spot the clock on Big Ben at several points in the book (towards the end). What do you notice about the different times? Mr Chicken wanted to be inside Big Ben (the beating heart of London) at a quarter past nine. Why do you think he chose that time? Did he achieve what he set out to do?
Create a timeline showing Mr Chicken at several locations throughout the day, from morning til midnight. Be sure to include standing inside Big Ben at 9.15pm.
Make your own Mr Chicken clock with yellow paper for the face, cardstock and a split pin for the hands. Practise understanding of quarter past, quarter to, half past and o’clock. For more advanced students extend their knowledge to five minute intervals (eg. 9.05pm), then one minute intervals (eg. 9.16pm).
How does Mr Chicken enter and exit London? Why does he choose these modes of transport? Looking at the way he enters – what does ‘air resistance’ mean? How does it work?
Test air resistance and make your own parachute using a bag, paper plate and string. Find an explanation and instructions at Kids Activities Blog.
IT’S YOUR STORY CALENDAR 2016 by Leigh HOBBS
FREE download can be found at the Australian Children’s Laureate website.
Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2016.
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.
Purchase Mr Chicken Lands on London.
Information about the author illustrator, Leigh Hobbs can be found here.