Book Review: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun Mi Hwang

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

I happened upon this book on my recent rare visit to the library (since I never go anymore because of the disease which shall not be named), and I thought it looked adorable.

Little did I know just how moving and beautiful it would be!

Release: 2000

Page Count: 134

Format: Paperback

Synopsis: Sprout is a hen with one dream: to lay her own egg, keep it, and have a baby. Unfortunately, she is stuck inside of massive pen of chickens whose eggs are taken away each morning. Her dream of freedom leads her outside the pen, into a world both dangerous and new, in this heartwarming story of love, motherhood, and freedom.

Spoiler Book Review

I am always intrigued by books which try to tell meaningful, human stories through the eyes of animals. Just look at Watership Down and Animal Farm. Despite this book being a pretty simple story, it imparts surprisingly deep messages. The characters have basic motivations (Greentop wants to be part of a group, Sprout wants to have a baby, etc.), and yet they are all understandable. The illustrations are plain but sweet, and the story is short, but the themes are incredibly meaningful.

Also, this is going to be a spoiler review, so I’ll be getting into major spoilers in the next paragraph. You have been warned!

So Sprout gets out of the coop and lives on her own for a while, until she discovers an egg alone. The weasel, who is the main antagonist of the book, has killed the mother and thus Sprout finally gets her chance to be a mother. Of course, the egg is not a chicken, but instead a duck. Sprout raises the duck and names it Greentop, only to have Greentop want to join those of his own and fly north in the spring with the flock, leaving Sprout to die alone. But she finds out the weasel is a mother simply trying to feed her babies too, and thus agrees to die to help another mother. It’s a sad but sweet ending.

Even if the story is sweet and meaningful, my favorite part was the prominent themes. One is about how family is not simply one you are born with, but one that you make yourself. Another is how you are just as much a mother to a child you raise then to simply the child you give birth too. And finally, that your dreams may not be achieved how you expect them too, but never give up because life is always unpredictable.

I think there is something so important in not needing complex characters with a complex plot and world to tell a deep story. You should be able to break deep concepts down to their simplest parts, and I think this book does this way.

Have you heard of this book? Does it look interesting to you? What are some simple stories you love which impart deep themes? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

15 thoughts on “Book Review: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun Mi Hwang

  1. What a great review thank you – I found it by accident as I was looking to buy the book – for the second time. I had my book for 2 years and never got round to reading it – until just before Christmas (similar timing)… so many messages – If I can add one, it is about transcending social rules – some people always think the social order is given and others show compassion and bend the rules to provide an opportunity. Belonging is not always where you expect to find it – anyway thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed my review! This is such an amazing book, and I love that you noticed the social rules theme in the story, because that was something I really didn’t see in the book.


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