Chester the Easter Chicken

Jessica Vokey, illustrated by Lesley Ann Walker

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 24 Price: (paperback) $15.99 ISBN: 9781477142769 Reviewed: May, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

The oddball who finally finds his place or purpose in life is a familiar theme in children’s literature. Part of the reason for its success is that it’s an easy idea for children to understand and relate to. Chester the Easter Chicken continues this tradition, with the story of a chicken who can only lay multicolored chocolate eggs.

Chester fears for his place on the farm because he is not able to produce breakfast eggs like the other chickens. In despair, he runs away, only to find an equally despairing Easter Bunny, short of chocolate eggs for Easter. Chester returns to the farm with the Easter Bunny and presents all of the chocolate eggs that he’s laid, saving Easter in the process.

It’s a cute, simple story, made more complicated than necessary by a strange choice: Chester is clearly a boy, yet he lays eggs among the hens. There’s no mention of this being considered unusual, only that Chester’s eggs come out colored and chocolate. Perhaps this is meant as an equal rights/gender message, but gender equality doesn’t trump biology, at least not in the animal world.

There are punctuation issues, as well, as some sentences lack the commas they seem to require. The meaning is usually clear, but the sentences can occasionally require rereading, or at least leave the reader breathless, as when the Easter Bunny cries: “’Now kids will get up in the morning and be so sad because they don’t have any Easter eggs to find and it’s all my fault.’”

The illustrations are childlike line drawings — not exceptional but not distracting, either. A similar description might be used for Chester the Easter Chicken as a whole: it doesn’t break new ground, but children may find it an enjoyable addition to their Easter baskets.

Also available in hardcover.

Author's Current Residence
Alberta, Canada
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