Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken

Children - Grade K-3rd
47 Pages
Reviewed on 05/11/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers' Favorite

Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken by Kevin P. White is destined to become a Christmas classic. Marty is a young boy who allows his curiosity to take hold as he explores why the woman next door is so lonely. After Marty accidentally hits his ball through Mrs. T's window, his parents send him to offer to work to pay for the damages. As Mrs. T. responds, Marty sees the most beautifully quilted chicken. Marty learns more about Mrs. T. and her history as the story progresses. Read it to discover why Mrs. T. is so depressed and what Marty does to help her learn to live again. Marty’s stories are fantastic. The ending will thrill those who read it. God does have a reason for all that happens.

Kevin P. White is a Christian and not ashamed to share his faith gently. He wrote Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken to share the true meaning of Christmas and how it affects those who follow God’s promptings. Even non-Christians will enjoy it as it offers much. Parents can read it with or to their children and discuss many life lessons and skills. For example, children need to learn to take responsibility for their actions. They also need to be polite and kind. White also mentions adoption for the many children who have lost their parents. Learning how to deal with death and loss is a significant need for children. This story will teach you the secret of a chicken and its eggs. It is a story worth reading and sharing with your children and should be on every child’s bookshelf.

Pikasho Deka

Kevin P. White brings readers another enthralling Christmas tale with Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken. Complemented by colorful illustrations by acclaimed Ukrainian artist Nadia Ilchuk, the book follows an eight-year-old boy named Marty Cromarty. After hitting a baseball through his neighbor's window, Marty's parents send him to Mrs. T. to offer to work in recompense for the window. Once at her house, however, Marty sees a magical chicken packed with cotton that looks like a brightly-colored quilt. Remembering his dreams, Marty begins to regale Mrs. T. with stories about the quilted chicken. As the days pass, he forms a warm bond with Mrs. T. and learns that she mourns the loss of her husband and son. Marty's stories lift Mrs. T's spirits, and she uses her unique talents to bring joy to others.

A wholesome Christmas story for kids and adults alike, Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken warms your heart and leaves you with a smile. Like other works by Kevin P. White, this Christmas tale also has underlying themes of empathy, kindness, faith, and hope, inspiring the audience to always look for those in need of help and bring hope into their lives. Nadia Ilchuk's eye-catching illustrations breathe life into the characters, and her drawings make you feel for Mrs. T. and her tragic backstory. This is the second book I've read by White, and I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoy his work. A big thumbs-up!

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Kevin P. White pens a charming children’s book in Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken. One autumn day, while playing outside, Marty hits a ball and breaks his neighbor’s window. Marty knocks on Mrs. T’s door to apologize and offer to pay for the repair. Mrs. T opens the door and thanks him. Looking inside, Marty notices a beautiful, quilted chicken. After leaving, Marty can't stop thinking about the chicken. A few days later, Marty returns and asks to see the chicken again. He has been dreaming of the chicken and wants to share his dream with her. Mrs. T reluctantly invites Marty inside. Marty tells her about his dream, and she laughs disbelievingly. But Marty tells her, “Sometimes dreams are real.” As the days turn colder and Christmas approaches, Marty dreams about the colorful chicken. One day Marty returns to Mrs. T’s home, boldly telling her about his most recent dream. The dream changes both of their lives; Christmas is a time for making dreams come true.

Kevin P. White has written many award-winning Christmas books; Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken will most certainly rank among them. The narrative demonstrates everything miraculous and delightful about the Christmas season. It touches the heart and inspires hope through childlike innocence. White pens a story of wonderment, bridging the gap between young and old. The narrative promotes the bond of family, acts of kindness, and the importance of listening and sharing with others. The beautiful artwork by Nadia Ilchuk is exquisite. The colorful pictures are rich in detail, bringing the narrative to life. White captures the essence of Christmas and wraps it up graciously, reminding us never to underestimate the faith of a child.

Jennifer Ibiam

Eight-year-old Marty and the reclusive sixty-year-old Mrs. T meet under unpleasant circumstances. When Marty hits a baseball through Mrs. T’s window, his parents send him over to apologize and work to pay for the window. Marty sees a colorful stuffed quilted chicken in her living room and can’t forget it. He frequently appears at Mrs. T’s door to tell her his dreams about the chicken. One day, Marty told Mrs. T the dream about the chicken, baby Jesus, her husband, and her son. Mrs. T couldn't hide her grief and took Marty to a secret room with more chickens. She tells Marty her story, and they decide to change their lives forever in Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken by Kevin P. White.

Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken by Kevin P. White is a fun and educational book appropriate for children. This picture book, illustrated by Nadia Ilchuk, is also a great addition to the kiddies’ library and book club. The storybook teaches kindness, dealing with grief, and helping others. Sometimes, grief consumes us, and we can’t see the silver lining. Our losses blind us, and we forget that our experiences can help others in pain. Mrs. T made lemonade out of lemons with Marty by her side. Marty also had a big heart and thought of children who had nothing. I loved the simple yet touching story. The illustrator also drew beautiful and telling pictures that caught the eye. Thank you for a beautiful book.

Bruce Arrington

Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken, by Kevin P. White, is a children’s illustrated book about a boy named Marty and an older woman named Laurel. Marty’s family and Laurel are neighbors, though Laurel is hardly ever seen by anyone. One day when Marty’s baseball goes flying through her window, he meets up with her to make amends. While rebuffed by her refusal of his offer to work off paying for the damages, he spies a colorful quilted chicken in her house and is immediately drawn to it. And so begins a powerful relationship about connections and healing.

I could describe the story from various angles, but what stands out is how unforced it all was. Marty doesn’t attempt to get another look at the chicken that mesmerizes him. On the other hand, Laurel ever so slowly opens her heart to this whimsical, imaginative child who thinks stars can talk. It is a sensitive story that I believe can be enjoyed by many beyond the Grade K-3 ages. There are all manner of lessons to be mined from it. I also liked that although the prose gives short descriptions of the scenes, the artwork fills in all the needed places, so we can thoroughly enjoy this colorful, detailed story. Marty Cromarty and the Christmas Chicken by Kevin P. White is a classic story of love, regret, hope, and imagination. Very nice work. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Highly recommended.