If you follow either my Youtube channel or my Instagram, you have already heard of how I bought The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang as an impulse purchase at the Hartford, Connecticut airport prior to returning home from Booktopia in May. This was another book that drew me in because of the "oh so charming" cover. I also have been obsessed with books coming out of South Korea - and that this is a bestseller there made me have to have it.
This is the story of a hen, who lives on a farm in a coop and more than anything wants to escape her confines. The hen, who calls herself Sprout, has dreams of being like the hen she sees walking around the yard with the rooster with a trail of little chicks behind her. However, Sprout is at the end of her egg laying years - and at the start of the book is taken out of the coop and put into a pit with other chickens to die. It is in this pit that Sprout's real adventure begins.
Sprout meets a duck that saves her from becoming lunch to the villain of the novel, the weasel. She wants to become part of the farm, but none of the other animals want her around and she is banished. The tale really takes off from there. The duck that saves her is an outsider himself, but he finds love. I don't want to give too much away, but it turns out that Sprout winds up sitting on the duck couple's egg after a tragedy. When the duckling is born, Sprout is his mother and her dream finally comes true. There are a lot of ups and downs for Sprout and her child - she has to deal with threats to their safety, loss of loved ones, and desires to feel included.
This is a very touching story about how family is what you make it. And about the sacrifices parents make for their children. Sun-Mi Hwang does a great job of making the story flow along with just enough drama to keep you entertained, without loosing the emotional pull of the overall story. I think that every parent will identify with the struggles that Sprout goes through - from trying to keep her chick safe from danger to the loss one feels when a child finally wants to leave the nest. The story is also a nice reminder of not to judge a person before you get to know them, as they may have struggles that they too are dealing with of which you are unaware.
The book is a little too sweet at times, but overall I truly enjoyed it. And the end made me cry a little, just happy that Sprout was able to finally feel fulfilled in life. When I finished I thought that there are a lot of children out there that I would like to read this story - as I think it gently teaches lessons that every person can learn from. Overall, a great impulse buy and a cute little book.
Rating : 4 books