Tag Archives: Jan Brett

Lesson 901 – Jan Brett and her chickens

Yesterday I sat down with Jan Brett to conduct my interview – in the living room – of her tour bus. I haven’t written up the article yet, so I can’t talk about everything, but can share a few details.


Once Jan knew that I spoke “chicken talk” she and I talked about chickens the entire time which was fine for me, because I didn’t want to ask the usual interview questions:

  • How long does it take to make an illustration? – about one hour
  • How long does it take to complete a book? – about one year.
  • What was the inspiration for your book? She and her editor were talking about chickens molting one day and at the same time, they both compared molting (and looking bedraggled) to the story of Cinderella (who at the end turns into a princess.)

See? I didn’t need to ask those questions because if you do your research for the interview, you’d quickly find out that *everyone* asks the same questions and I already knew the answers because she had (patiently) given the answers again and again. Continue reading


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Filed under Backyard Chickens, Chicken things, Inspiration

Lesson 900 – Jan Brett, chickens, and an interview


In just a few hours, I’ll be interviewing Jan Brett about her newest book “Cinders – A Cinderella story.” As anyone who even lives on the periphery of the chicken world knows, Jan, besides being an incredible artist and author (she’s sold over 38 million books) also raises award winning Black Polish hens.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jan (you really should click on that link to read that story of meeting Jan) and seeing her chickens in action at the Northeastern Poultry Congress.

All are stunning. Continue reading

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Lesson 686 – The fabulous chicken ladies

Last weekend, I went to the Northeastern Poultry Congress to both see the incredible variety of chickens on display and to also meet up with some of my chicken blogging/writing friends. The four of us (dare I call us the chick-fab-four?) have been writing and blogging about chickens for years. Each of us brings our own special insight to the big world of chickens which makes for great conversations when we are together.

Of course, I bought Fatti-Madi with me.

Here Fatti-Madi is posing with author, blogger, illustrator, and all around good egg: Lauren Scheuer of Scratch and Peck and Once Upon a Flock.


Terry Golson of Hencam  and author of Tillie Lays an Egg was also there. Terry brought some of the absolute, best brownies I have ever eaten. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Chicken fun, Fatti-Madi, Life Lessons, Literary-chicks

Lesson 473 – Jan Brett, stalking, and feathers

First of all I want to say that I am not a stalker. I prefer to think of myself as a great admirer of things fine.

When I went to the Northeastern Poultry Congress this past weekend, it hadn’t occurred to me that Jan Brett would be there. And not only there but with her polish chickens, no less!!

As a mother of 6 I have read (and re-read, and re-read) many childrens’ books illustrated by Jan. She has beautiful illustrations that are as calming to adults as they are to children.

I’ve even contacted Jan (through her agent) about an article I was writing on hen houses. Here’s a little fact – Jan has noise insulated hen houses for her roosters.

After I had left the Willy Wonka of chicken salesrooms, I walked down the hall to the exhibition hall.

Gasp. The first thing I saw was a row of Black Polish show birds. After having just decided I couldn’t buy any (because they were sold in pairs) this was just cruel. Life was taunting me.

But still, I can appreciate beauty when I see it. I approached the birds, slowly working my way down the row talking and cooing to them as only a chicken lover does, telling them all how pretty they were.

And then I came upon a woman in an apron who was taking some of her birds out of the cages and spraying their feathers. Must be the owner. I went back to the birds.

Record scratch. Wait a minute.

Black Polish show birds, woman owner (in a very cute apron) = Jan Brett.

“Are you Jan?” I asked preferring not to say what I was actually thinking which was “OH. MY. GOD, YOU’RE JAN BRETT, RIGHT?”

She looked at me and smiled. “Yes,” she said, “I am.”

“I write about chickens I started telling her. “I have a flock at home and I’ve always lusted for a Black Polish. You have absolutely stunning birds.” I told her.

“Thank you.” And then she said, “Would you mind holding this one for a few minutes while I clean up?”

Would I mind?

She put one of her male birds into my arms where he docilely sat while I stroked his back.

“His name is Pasquale,” she told me.

I was talking to Jan Brett, holding one of her birds at a chicken show. Life is kind of good sometimes.

Jan Brett's Pasquale

“Such a calm bird,” I said. Jan went on to tell me a little about the breed and how lovely and gentle they were. Continue reading


Filed under Backyard Chickens, Chicken things, Inspiration