A Stupid Hen

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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A Stupid Hen Storybooks are a wonderful way of teaching children the way of the world. Some storybooks teach right from wrong, the colors of the rainbow and even how to count. I chose the book, Minerva Louise at School for my story telling report. It is a great storybook written by Janet Morgan Stoeke. This book was written for kids from ages 2-6. Minerva Louise is a curious hen, and let me tell you, she loves to explore her world. This particular Minerva Louise book tells a tale about how she went to a big fancy barn, or what humans would call a school.

The Book Minerva Louise at School begins when Minerva Louise wakes up. She decides to go for a walk and during her walk she sets her eyes on what appears to be a big fancy barn, but to humans it is obviously a school.

She walks through this so-called barn and compares the things in it to her barn at home. She calls the hallways stalls for animals, she labels the chairs milking stools for the cows and makes many more assumptions about the objects in the school. Minerva enters one room and spots a baseball glove with a softball in it. She believes this is a nesting box with an egg. Minerva notices that the "egg" is not covered with hay to keep it warm, so she uses pencils as another form of hay. After she finishes making the "egg" warm, she realizes it is late and she hurries back to her barn. When she arrives home, she uses her new ideas that she got from the big fancy barn (school) to make her own nesting box better. Minerva takes a glove and more items like a hose from her barn, and creates a new improved nesting box. At the end Minerva wishes that she would go back to the big fancy barn, because it was a place where she had learned new ideas.

Janet's drawings are big and bright. She uses all the colors of the rainbow so it would be a great book to use if your children are trying to learn colors. The pictures take up most of the page minus the few words that are at the bottom of the page. Kids will enjoy looking at the pictures because they will relate them to their school, if they are already attending. If they aren't going to school, they will get a little taste of how school will look. I know that my biggest fear about going to school was because I didn't know what to expect, and if I had this book I would have been a little more at ease my first day.

I chose this book because it was a book that I had read many times to the children that I baby-sit for. I feel that this a book that will make children enjoy and want to go to school, because the kids that I watch every Sunday can't wait to start school. I believe that Janet Morgan Stoeke wrote this book to get children excited for school, but most of all to make kids think that they can also get new ideas, like Minerva, from school. Minerva's goofy perceptions of things will definitely make kids, that already know about school, laugh.

Minerva Louise at School is a fun storybook that will keep children laughing through out. I don't think that Janet intended this book to be anything more that fun for children. The bright picture and big writing is what makes this storybook a good book for children to learn to read with.