Published by Greystone Kids
Summary: The chicken coop is a “safe, agreeable place” where life is “comfortable”, but a picture of a human carrying off a chicken by her legs shows readers a slightly different story. When the capybaras come to the coop, it causes quite a stir. They’re big, wet, and hairy, but it’s hunting season, and they have no place to go. So the chickens reluctantly grant them shelter, as long as they obey the rules to stay silent and to leave the chickens’ food and water alone. But one day a chick and a young capybara start playing together. When the “dangerous” capybaras protect the chick from the farm dog, everything changes, and the capybaras move into the coop with the chickens. At the end of an unsuccessful hunting season, the hunters return to an empty chicken coop. “No one ever knew what happened,” is the final sentence, followed by a spread showing the chickens roosting on the capybaras’ backs in the water, then having a serious conversation with a young lamb. 48 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: Originally published in Venezuela, this picture book is simple and fun enough for preschoolers, but could definitely be used to start some interesting conversations with older ones. The disconnect between the text and the illustrations questions the meaning of such words as “comfortable” and “dangerous”. Delightfully subversive.
Cons: Made me really question not being vegan.
2 thoughts on “The Capybaras by Alfredo Soderguit”
Love the illustrations