Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 December 2020
Morning Mystery is a warm and gentle book for young children. The hens on the allotment wake up one wintry morning to discover a strange sound on the roof and try to figure out what is going on.
Each hen has a distinct colour on their head to help identify them and this is shown on the first pages. I like that the story is based on the author’s observations of her own hens and their various personalities. The illustrations are quite realistic but the use of colour and personality clearly set out the different characters.
The story has more text than most picture books and the simple language will give emerging readers confidence to tackle longer length books. My children enjoyed reading this together. Zach aged 4 can already read but is growing in competence and fluency.
The plot is simple but allows children to feel that ‘aha’ moment when they realise what the mystery is and then wait for the hens to learn the truth as well. I think it is clever that children can use their knowledge of the world to make sense of the mystery themselves. The illustrations clearly show the plot developments and I believe the natural style encourages children to get engaged with the events.
Morning Mystery was an enjoyable introduction to the hens and I look forward to seeing what adventures they have next…