Spoiler Free Review
Sometimes, the simplest of the stories have extraordinary powers that they can move you. And this is one of those books. The Hen Who Dreamed She could Fly was originally written in Korean by Sun-Mi Hwang. This is a book I picked from South Korea on my journey to read one book from every country in my Project Cross Borders.
This is the story of a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command, only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild—and to hatch an egg of her own.
An anthem for freedom, individuality and motherhood featuring a plucky, spirited heroine who rebels against the tradition-bound world of the barnyard, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a novel of universal resonance that also opens a window on Korea, where it has captivated millions of readers.
If I wish to have a small, sweet and a warm book on a cosy evening, this is a book I would pick up. On the surface, this is a story of a hen that engages you emotionally but if only you strip the words away and read in between the lines will you find out that this book is about motherhood, adoption, specieism (extended to any form of discrimination we see all around), unexpected friendship, unbreakable bonds and the ultimate sacrifice of parenting. This is a book of the likes of Animal Farm and the illustrations remind me of the Little Prince.
“That’s all there is to it. We look different, so we don’t understand each other’s inner thoughts, but we cherish each other in our own way. I respect you.”
Just by going with the title (I didn’t read the synopsis for this one), I expected this book to be about chasing an impossible dream with a metaphorical hen but this book turned out to be a story on motherhood, love and doing all you can to achieve your dreams with an actual hen. And, this book was well beyond my expectations for it and this is a book I definitely do not regret reading.
The translation is really beautiful and makes me wonder how good this must’ve been in Korean itself. The simple language which even children can read makes this book a great read for children as well. And it is because of this simplicity that this book gives you a warm reading experience. The characters were simple, identifiable and everything in this book served its purpose. Sprout and Greentop are characters that anyone could relate to and would deeply resonate with each of their doings.
The pace was just perfect and all the events are vivid and the ending is something I was able to expect, but the way the author had crafted it was really bittersweet and is something that would be memorable.
“I’m sitting on it, and I’m going to raise it. Surely that makes it my baby.”
What I really liked about the book: This is a book about challenging the norms and being an outcast, learning when to tackle problems and when to keep them at bay. This is a story of making the best of what you have and really, make your seld meaningful, and this is what makes this book special and I really love it for this reason.
What I didn’t like about the book: Umm. I really have nothing that I didn’t like.
This definitely is a light read for yourself and children and they would perhaps enjoy it as well. This would serve as a good bed time story as well with an entire cast of farm animals and a lot of meaning to it.
Being a really small book, this can be read by anyone but if you are looking for loads of action, thrill and an edge of the seat experience, then this is perhaps not the best read for you.
I Would Rate it:
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Until Next Time,
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More Power To You