I wrote Chicken Man after living and working on Kibbutz Mizra. I had a friend who worked in the ‘lul’ [lool] – the chicken coop. His charming stories of the chickens and the fun he had in the lul convinced me to work there, too. It was a horrible place and I hated the chickens. That’s when I learned about the power of stories. 
by Michelle Edwards
Deep in Israel’s Jezreel Valley there once lived a man known to his mother as Rody and to all the rest of Kibbutz Hanan as Chicken Man…Chicken man liked the chicken coop. He liked the chickens. He liked all the noisy clucking when he sang…Chicken Man thought that he might like to work in the chicken coop forever.
Rody loves his job in the chicken coop, he loves the chickens as well. And the chickens? Well they love Rody in return – in fact when Rody took care of the chickens they laid more eggs than ever before.
But there was a problem. Rody had a unique attitude toward his work and that attitude caused others to covet his position. You see Rody was a content and happy worker. He even sang as he worked. He made whatever job he was given seem easy and that caused Bracha – who spent long hours in front of a big hot stove – to request to be moved to the chicken coop. So Rody was moved to the laundry.
It was hard for Rody to leave the chickens but he said goodbye and moved to the laundry. Singing as he worked, he once again made his job look easy. And soon Dov – who milked the cows – asked for Rody’s job. And so it goes on and Rody is moved from one position to another.
This is truly a delightful read and without giving the entire story away – all ends well for both Rody and the chickens.
Chicken Man teaches us that there is beauty and value in every job. This book is a sweet introduction for children to a valuable work ethic and an insight into the early years of life on the kibbutzim in Israel.
In conjunction with reading this book with your children or grands, you might like to take advantage of a free online teacher guide written by Barb Stein and Michelle Edwards:
You can purchase Chicken Man from amazon.com
1. From a Barbara Bietz interview of Michelle Edwards. You can read the entire review at Jewish Books for Kids