The Daring Tale of Gloria the Great

The Daring Tale of Gloria the Great

A rollicking picture book from bestselling children’s author Jacqueline Harvey

Gloria the chicken is not like the rest of her brood. She gets in your face, she runs her own race, until one day . . . POOF! She disappears without trace!

Laugh along at Gloria’s antics in this quirky tale that celebrates individuality. Inspired by the real adventure of a one-of-a-kind chicken, early readers will love seeing Gloria’s unique personality celebrated through lively rhyme and the bold illustrations of Kate Isobel Scott.

The Daring Tale of Gloria the Great

Gloria the Great is not like the rest of her brood. She gets in your face, she runs her own race, until one day…POOF! She disappears without trace!

Jacqueline Harvey presents yet another captivating addition to children’s literature with this fun picture book. Through the clever use of rhyme, Harvey weaves a delightful rhythm, inviting young readers to follow the engaging pattern and immerse themselves in the story’s charm. The text flows seamlessly, aided by strategic changes in font that effectively emphasize key words. The incorporation of Gloria’s unique chicken cry, ‘Begerk!,’ adds a humorous touch, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the narrative.

The artistic brilliance of Kate Isobel Scott, the accomplished illustrator of this picture book, shines through with bold and vibrant colours that breathe life into Gloria the Great’s adventure. Scott’s exquisite watercolour paintings and detailed sketches captivate young readers, holding their undivided attention as they giggle at Gloria’s amusing escapades. The facial expressions of each character, coupled with their distinctive accessories, inject personality into the story, enriching the reading experience.

As the flock of hens initially remains indifferent to Gloria’s disappearance, the story takes a delightful turn when they begin to miss her peculiar antics and quirks. This plot development gracefully introduces the theme of individuality, emphasising the importance of embracing our unique qualities. The daring tale of Gloria the Great is not just a hilarious read but also a must-have for bookshelves, offering laughter and a valuable lesson about accepting ourselves and others for being ‘free range.’

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to young readers, confident that it will inspire great laughs and impart an important message.

Reviewed by Anna Tran

‘A fable about being kind to each other is presented within the gloriously funny story of Gloria the chook, going missing from the farm. Gloria is always doing things differently from the other chooks. She eats the food in the dogs’ bowls, howls just like them, is in your face, and is always very bold, doing her own thing. Until one day she just disappears. The family is intent on hunting down their Christmas decorations and do not hear the quiet noise from below. They look at the hawk in the tree outside and conclude that Gloria was just too slow. The other chooks blame each other for her disappearance, saying they were too unkind. They squabble so much they end up in a great melee of noise and feathers. The noise quietens for long enough for the children to hear that noise again, so they all look under the house where they had gone in their search for the decorations and find Gloria, a little dishevelled but alive. She has eaten the occasional bug to keep alive.

She is treated regally by the family, and given a table of food to eat, even a bed by the AGA. Once again out in the yard, in true Gloria fashion, she shares her stories of her exploits with the other chooks. She is surprised that they are so supportive, and Dulcie tells her that they have all decided to be kind, that difference is no reason to reject others.

The stunning illustrations create another level of humour to the story. Kate’s childhood was surrounded by chooks and so she offers a great deal of fun in her depictions of them. The scenes in the farmhouse, henhouse and farm yard are wonderful and her closeups of the hens fighting over who is to blame will cause hoots of laughter from the readers. I especially loved the images under the house, a lone dejected Gloria looking very small in the darkness, and the contrast between the large, healthy chooks and the newly found skinny Gloria is hilarious.

Themes: Chickens, Farms, Kindness, Difference, Free range, Humour, Christmas.’

Fran Knight

– Read Plus Review Blog

‘I say it often, I miss my chookies (and there have been quite a few at numerous times over the years). Chooks have such personalities, and some of mine definitely did.

Just such a hen is Gloria – indomitable, resilient and tenacious. She is her own chicken in every sense.

In this rollicking rhyming story, Jacqueline has given young readers a blueprint for how to treat those who beat to the march of their own drum.

She was brave, she was bold, never did what she was told.

When headstrong Gloria is accidentally trapped under the house, the family fear the worst after seeing the hawk hanging about. The other chickens immediately start laying the blame on who has ostracised (as opposed to ostrich-ised) Gloria so much that she didn’t head back to the coop at the proper hour. But Gloria the Great is no pushover chook, she has survived on minimal rations, and made just enough noise to be heard over the regular household hullabaloo.

It is funny and boisterous, and kids will love the bouncing rhythm, [and the Gloria Gaynor reference will not be lost on adult readers!]. They will also love Kate Isobel Scott’s so- expressive cartoon style illustrations {I totally love that a couple of the chooks are adorned with jewelry. [I used to say about my last girls, who were always jumping the fence, that I was sure they were heading to the bus-stop with handbags to go shopping for bling].

This one gives so much scope for important conversations about accepting everyone, making everyone feel welcome, and recognising that we ALL have our own quirks and foibles. I don’t know about you, but every day I wonder about the rampant intolerance on display in society, and find it truly disturbing. I’ve said many times that it is up to us as educators to help our little people grow into good humans, and accepting others ‘warts and all’ (thanks for that one, Cromwell) is part and parcel of that.

Thank you Jacqueline! This second picture book proves just how versatile you are as a writer who speaks to readers of all ages, and I, for one, can’t wait for more. Highly recommended for your Smalls from Prep upwards.’

Sue Warren

– Just So Stories