A feel-good story about Josh, and his cantankerous pet hen, Semolina. Semolina can talk and in return for prawn crackers and the odd beer, she tells Josh all the animal gossip. The problem is that no one believes she can talk and Josh's warning about a fox on the loose in the chicken house is laughed at - until it is too late. Underscored by the drama of Josh's mother having to stay in hospital until her new baby is born ('Son, we're not good layers.") this has a humorous, folksy feel that will appeal to 9-11-year-olds.
Joy Cowley is a multi-award winning New Zealand author of over 600 titles. She is famous in the United States as the author of the phenomenally successful Mrs Wishy-Washy series, which has sold over 40 million copies. Two of her novels, The Silent One and Bow Down Shadrach have won Children's Book of the Year awards in New Zealand; Ticket to the Sky Dance and Starbright and the Dream Eater have won junior fiction awards two years running. Joy was awarded an OBE in 1992 for her services to children's writing and in 2004 she was given the AW Reed Award for her contribution to New Zealand literature. Joy Cowley and her husband Terry have homes in the Marlborough Sounds and in Wellington.