P1000079Peggy : A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure  by Anna Walker

Clarion books (HMH), 2017. [Orig. Scholastic Australia 2012]

Hardcover Picture book, 32pp.

Peggy’s daily routine is set out in a series of polaroids, framed glimpses in regimented lines and columns. While by no means that dull, the wind does bring with it adventure—actually, it carries Peggy off on an adventure, taking her from the neat uniformity of the suburbs, to a bustling cityscape.

peggy interior 1
page from Peggy : A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure  by Anna Walker 

The adventure in the city is captured in full–no boxes here. Vignettes are placed neatly, but not contained by line or frame. Walker has a great sense of humor and play in Peggy.

peggy interior 2
page from Peggy : A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure  by Anna Walker 

What is impressive, and perhaps subtle/taken for granted, but when Peggy is swept away, “far from home. She pick[s] herself up, ruffle[s] her feathers, [goes] for a walk.” She goes with the flow (literally); small amongst human legs and feet and umbrellas. She takes everything in: “Peggy watched, hopped, jumped, twirled, and tasted.”  And when it’s time to go home and she discovers humans can’t understand her requests for directions, she’s resourceful.

Her adventure returning home brings her friends, which brings something wonderfully new to her daily routines. And that closing page, umbrella tucked under wing–if I hadn’t already been so thoroughly endeared…

peggy interior 3
illustration from Peggy : A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure  by Anna Walker 

It’s in the city that I noticed Walker’s use of photo collage (though a quick look back I understand it’s constant). It’s strange how the realism of the photo is the part that adds whimsy to a chicken’s tale of adventure, but there we have it. I continue to enjoy Walker’s color palettes and ink-work.

Peggy is enchanting, and it’s a story from which any collection would get a lot of mileage.

The city and the colors had me thinking of Oliver Jeffers, so fans, take notice.

Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

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