“It was bright outside. The acacia tree on the edge of the yard was blooming with white flowers. Their sweet scent caught the breeze and wafted into the coop, filling Sprout’s heart. Sprout got up and shoved her head through the wires of her cage. Her bare, featherless neck was rubbed raw. ‘The leaves laid flowers again!’ Sprout was envious. If she squinted, she could make out the light green leaves that had matured and given birth to fragrant flowers. She’d spotted the blooming acacia tree the very day she was shut in the coop.”
So begins Sun-Mi Hwang’s book, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly. At first, it seems to be only a fable about a hen named Sprout. She dreams of just once hatching one of her eggs and raising her own chick. As she orchestrates her escape form the coop and then faces life outside with all its real problems and challenges, Sprout even wonders if this was what she really wanted. But Sprout is a courageous and spunky women’s libber who will not give up on her dream.
Sun-Mi Hwang writes an amazing story which pulls us into this fable about life, struggles, the joys of friendship and motherhood. Her style seems very simple, but on a second look, although, she has used words sparingly, she created a world we can see and feel.
I recommend this wonderful little book which is really an allegory about modern life. Sun-Mi Hwang is from Korea where this book has been on the best seller’s list for more than 10 years and has been made into an animated film. This book speaks to adults as well as to children… perhaps even more to adults. The illustrations commissioned for this English-language edition enrich our imagination as we progress through the book.