Jarrett Dapier & Andrea Tsurumi
Mr. Watson’s Chickens is hilarious! Mr. Watson and Mr. Nelson love each other and their chickens…until the chickens take over that is. When an ultimatum is given and moving into a chicken coop is posed, Mr. Watson corrals his feathery friends and makes a new plan.
It’s really refreshing to see incidental LGBTQ representation in a funny story, and a story that isn’t about being queer. The illustrations are hilarious and remind me of a Where’s Waldo setup, everywhere the reader looks are chickens doing hilarious things like synchronized swimming or wearing trench coats.
Being able to open a book and see loving LGBTQ relationships that aren’t even discussed past “they loved each other” or having coming out being a plot point is refreshing. Coming out stories are important, but just like we need to showcase Black & Indigenous joy, we also need queer joy. Everyone needs to see themselves in silly stories.
Mr. Watson’s Chickens is the perfect goofy read aloud for any occasion. Me? I tried to read it to mine and they were unimpressed. But what do The Squash Blossoms know, they stood outside in the rain like dingbats for 7 hours when they could have been inside their coop.
This book was kindly sent by Chronicle Kids, but all opinions are my own! This book is being released today!!
Jarrett Dapier is an author, librarian and lifelong drummer. His debut picture book, JAZZ FOR LUNCH!, illustrated by Eugenia Mello, received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews. JAZZ FOR LUNCH! is published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, and is available now wherever books are sold. His second picture book, MR. WATSON’s CHICKENS, illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi, received starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and Bookpage. It will be released on October 5, 2021 by Chronicle Books. His third picture book, SKELETON STOMP: A HAUNTED TOUR OF THE WHITE HOUSE, illustrated by Lee Gatlin will be published by Abrams Kids in Fall, 2022. His debut young adult graphic novel will be published by Chronicle Books in 2023.
Jarrett loves reading, visiting libraries and bookstores, listening to punk rock and jazz on vinyl, skateboarding, hanging out with his family, gardening, playing with his three-legged rescue dog, riding his bike, swimming in Lake Michigan, checking in with birds and nature as often as he can, and eating ice cream.
He lives in Evanston, IL with his family and their many pets (including 4 chickens named Marilla, Helena, Goldie, and…Aunt Agnes).
Andrea Tsurumi (she/her | sue-roo-me) is an author, illustrator and cartoonist originally from New York who now lives with her spouse and dog in Philadelphia. A gigantic text + image nerd, she studied sequential storytelling for an English BA at Harvard and an illustration MFA at the School of Visual Arts. While working in publishing for a several years, she threw herself into her two loves: indie comics and children’s books. Her first book, ACCIDENT! was an NPR Great Read and her second book, CRAB CAKE, won the Vermont Red Clover Book Award. When she’s not inventing croissant-based animals, she likes reading about ordinary and ridiculous history. 🏳️🌈