Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Marie Alafaci
Illustrator: Shane McG
Publisher: Clarion Book
This is the story of a cluck with a lot of pluck. Zelda has decided to be the first chicken in space. She makes a plan and rigorously trains herself in preparation, but no one is interested in helping her at all. Zelda wonders for only a moment if success is possible and then resolutely goes to work making a space suit, heat shields, and other space gear. Due to her preparation, her flight and scientific layovers are a complete success. She returns to earth where her less ambitious friends carefully word their involvement in her success. Undaunted, Zelda is proud of her achievement and thinks she may bring some company on her next journey into space.
A wonderful twist on Aesop's fable of the little red hen, Zelda's Big Adventure is a tale of independence and determination as help is rejected her at every turn. Zelda is plucky and undismayed. She wastes no time on self-pity or complaint and accomplishes her dream all by herself. It is wonderful that she not only wants to get into space, but also wants to increase scientific knowledge. Even though it is hard she pushes ahead with her work. Some chickens might have pointless or selfish dreams, but not Zelda. She has good sense and her instant barnyard fame doesn't go to her head, She isn't even annoyed by her hangers-on who try to achieve notability by association. This book is a marvelous pullet surprise. An ambitious story with eggs-actly the right courage and verve. Pages are bright and filled with colorful characters and scenery. Dare to dream! Who says that chickens can't fly?