Souperchicken by Mary Jane Auch

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When Henrietta becomes the first chicken in her coop to learn how to read, she uses her skills to save her aunties from becoming chicken soup.

About Mary Jane Auch

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As a child, Mary Jane Auch loved books and read constantly. Her interest in drawing began as a child and continued through high school. She went on to become an art major at Skidmore College. After graduation, Auch went for New York City, but after a year of designing prints for men's pajamas, she decided she wanted to do something more meaningful with her life. She enrolled in the Occupational Therapy program at Columbia University, and worked for some years in a children's hospital near Hartford, Connecticut. Eventually, Auch began illustrating for Pennywhistle Press, a national children's newspaper, which led to an interest in illustrating children's books. In the summer of 1984, Auch took a week-long children's writing conference on Cape Cod. Auch finally knew that she wanted to a writer when an instructor told her that sometimes artists find they can paint better pictures with words. She began sending manuscripts to publishers, writing four novels before she sold the first one. She then sold a second book to another publisher the same week. She continued writing books for older kids, abandoning her dream of illustrating for a while. After writing nine books, she wrote and illustrated The Easter Egg Farm, and has done both ever since. In high school Herm Auch painted sets for school plays, drawings for the yearbook, and was commissioned to do a landscape painting for one of his father's friends. While still in high school, Herm worked as an engraving apprentice for an offset printing company. When it was time to go to college, Herm followed his teacher's prophecy by enrolling as an illustration major at Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In the summers between his college years, he worked for an art agency where one of his assignments was illustrating a book. In his senior year at RIT, Herm started working at the Gannett Rochester Newspapers. In 1966, he met MJ Springer, who soon became his wife. For a number of years, Herm had a weekly editorial cartoon called Herm Auch's Rochester. In 1975 Herm and columnist Dick Dougherty were assigned to ride across the country on bicycles, writing and illustrating the Bike Centennial series. In their three month odyssey, the two newsmen found fascinating stories of real people from coast to coast. Herm served as the photographer and illustrator for the project. Herm made his first venture into children's books by illustrating I Was A Third Grade Science Project, written by Mary Jane. After forty years as a newspaper graphic artist, Herm retired in 2000 to pursue a new career as a children's book illustrator.
Published April 1, 2004 by Holiday House. 32 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Nature & Wildlife, Action & Adventure, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Souperchicken

Publishers Weekly

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Henrietta's aunts make fun of her for reading instead of laying eggs, but they also don't realize that when the farmer carts them away on "vacation," they are actually headed for the "Souper Soup" factory (only Henrietta can read the sign on the truck).

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Sep 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Souperchicken

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