An affable skunk and his many chicken friends create mayhem at a scientist’s house.
Badger is a rock scientist who lives at his aunt Lula’s house. It’s a nice brownstone in the pleasant town of North Twist. Aunt Lula doesn’t live there herself, but allows a generous tenancy to her nephew, so he can pursue his important rock work. Imagine Badger’s surprise one day when there is a knock at the door. He opens it to find Skunk, whose mother is a friend of Aunt Lula’s.
Badger is thrown off course by this interruption to his quiet way of life. Worse still, Skunk says he is moving in. They are to be roommates. Aunt Lula has organised it. Things get chaotic when Skunk invites his many chicken friends – 100 in all – to stay as well. Soon the house is overrun with these feathered friends who repeatedly squark “Bock, Bock”. The stage is set for conflict as the mild-mannered Badger tries to cope with the eccentric and jolly natured Skunk. Feathers are ruffled and regretful remarks are made about Skunk’s personal hygiene. Can they resolve their differences and also keep Aunt Lula happy?
Writer Amy Timberlake doesn’t put a foot wrong in this delightful, zany, surreal and hilarious odd couple story. There are many pleasant digressions, including a discussion of Shakespeare's Henry V, a theory of chickens performing quantum leaps and a nonsense retelling of the story of Chicken Little. The characters are nicely drawn, with Badger the much imposed upon scientist and Skunk the affable guest who doesn’t seem to think his flock of chickens a problem. The novel’s good cheer develops and gains momentum as the story progresses and by the last page, as problems are resolved, the reader feels that all is right with the world.
With gorgeous illustrations by Jon Klassen, this beautifully produced book is destined to be a favourite with all lovers of children’s literature.
North Melbourne Books