Mama’s Chickens

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       March 12, 2023


Author  Michelle Worthington and Nikki Johnston

Distributor:      EK Books
ISBN:                 9781922539458
Publisher:         Exisle Publishing/EK Books
Release Date:   March 2023  


Statistics advise us that 28,000 Australians living with Dementia today, are mothers under the age of 50. As the author is one of those mothers, she wanted to find a way to reassure children that their world although different, was still filled with love.

Mama’s Chickens is a special story.

Mama wasn’t interested in getting chickens. “They are noisy, and they poop everywhere.” When the chickens arrived at the house, she felt quite differently about them. She loved their feathers in the sunlight and their individual personalities. They followed her around the yard and became familiar companions. Each chicken was given a name and when it was time for them to be put away they pecked at the back door.

Then Mama started to lose her memory. She loved sitting with the chickens and watching them scratch around in the yard. Mama still tucked up the chickens at night and her children. All were safe and warm. Chooky LaLa, her favourite, and the children got upset when Mama got cranky, neither understood what was happening. However, even when Mama could no longer speak, they knew they were loved.

This is an extremely confronting story for adults but may help children who will experience this disease in adults. The simple drawings are gentle and warm. They show the children and the chicken together trying to make sense of the gradual changes they see.