Mei has the six happiest hens in China. She gives them fresh hay
and baths, and when she calls to them, Gu-gu-gu-gu! they all run
to her as fast as they can. But one of the hens, Daisy, was not
always so happy. She was the smallest and the other hens used to
pick on her, flapping their wings, squawking and pecking. Then one
night Daisy was asleep in a basket when it drifted out onto the
river. She woke up facing a barking dog, and suddenly Daisy was
doing some pecking, squawking and wing-flapping of her own!
Jan Brett's exquisite illustrations reflect
life on the Li River and the mysterious and beautiful countryside through
which it flows in this heartwarming tale of a brave little hen.
Jan and her husband, Joe Hearne, traveled
with their daughter-in-law, Yun, and her husband, Sean, to China, the
land where Yun was born. As they sailed down the Li river in the
Guang Xi Province, Jan was reminded of a favorite story from childhood, The
Story of Ping. There were the cormorants, and the
fisherman. But what made a lasting impression was the river
itself, with mountains in unusual shapes towering above and small
villages along the way with their colorful markets and brightly dressed
children. All of these memories became the backdrop for Daisy's
adventures. Why a hen for her spunky heroine? Perhaps Daisy
was inspired by Jan's hens at home: Pansy, Bluebell and Dahlia.