The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang

A book for all ages pick by Jean-Louis


hen(Penguin Books, 2013)

Sometimes it is a treat to read a simple and beautifully written story that appeals to all ages. The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is just such a book. Originally published in Korean and translated to English by Chi-Young Kim, this story borders the edge of fable, animal lore, and is a great primer on the art of parenting. Whether author Sun-Mi Hwang also intends the book as a political commentary I will leave to other readers.

Our narrator is a hen, who begins our story in a coop where she lays eggs one after another only to have them roll away from her to be scooped up by the farmer and his wife. Our hen has grown tired of this life and wants desperately to keep an egg for herself, to discover what it would be like to sit on a nest, and experience a different kind of life. Through circumstance hen gets her wish and eventually finds herself outside the barn and making a new life for herself. An egg in a nest must need a mother so when Hen finds an egg all alone in a nest in the woods, what can she do but care for it.

This happenstance leads our hen to new discoveries, a fast friendship with Straggler the duck, disagreements with the rooster and the barn clan, and pits her into mortal battle with that wiliest of hunters–Weasel. Along her journey Hen will learn about longing, determination, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and love.

The charming illustrations that accompany the text make reading the Hen’s story a true treat. With more than 2 million copies of this story sold world-wide, be sure to add this book to your reading list. You will not be disappointed.

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