I started reading Jan’s books to my children even before they could listen to the words. We gazed for hours at her illustrations. My children learned animal names from her books. Sometimes, my son would even make me flip back to the previous page to look and linger some more. Her attention to detail is amazing and she is truly an incredibly talented illustrator and writer. I have spent time with Jan at various poultry shows and have enjoyed visiting her flock.
|Jan Brett’s entries|
One of the wonderful things I spoke of in my last post was networking and meeting people that love their chickens just as much as me. Many people know of Jan Brett, the magnificent illustrator and author of numerous globe trotting children’s books. With her amazing attention to the smallest of details, her lovely stories and meticulous illustrations are downright magical.
I had known that Jan Brett was also a fellow chicken keeper and raised show quality Polish Hens. I also knew that she loved to share the joy of chickens with children. When I attended the Boston Poultry Expo last month, I had hoped to catch a glimpse of Jan Brett. I never did see her, but I did meet someone who knew of her. I met a pre-adolescent girl, whom I will call Kay, and her mother. As Kay was busy chatting and running around with fellow younger poultry exhibitors, I had a chance to speak to Kay’s mother about the transformation that chicken keeping had brought to her daughter’s life. With much help, love, and guidance from Jan Brett, Kay was learning life’s lessons through her favorite chicken, Jasmine. Kay was transforming into a well-spoken articulate young lady with a wonderful sense of self and accomplishment. It was lovely meeting them and I knew that I would not forget them.
This past weekend at the Congress, I saw Jan Brett. I even went over and politely introduced myself and thanked her for sharing her love of chickens with the children. She surely did not know what to think of me, but I always feel it is important to let others know when they are making huge positive changes in people’s lives without sometimes realizing the magnitude themselves. We spoke for a few moments and then she was off, busy discovering that one of her Polish Hens had won!
As the day was winding down, my highlight was running into Kay. It had been months since I had seen her and I even noticed more changes. She was more mature and bubbling over with an immense sense of pride and enthusiasm. I was giddy just being with her. I was reunited with Jasmine and met two other Polish chickens, including Solomon, that she was showing in the Junior Exhibitor’s category. I could immediately see the love between these too. He was docile. He was gentle. He was melted butter in Kay’s hands. She could not control her feelings and naturally kept showering him with kisses. She even insisted that Solomon sit on my shoulder. I too was butter in Kay’s hands. I felt so much pride in knowing her!
As I exited the show, I walked past the sale area. I passed geese, baby bunnies and a few rows of chickens. Mid-row, I came to an area with barn red poultry cages and Polish Hens for sale. It was Folkloric Bantams. They were for sale. Some chickens were show quality and some were pet quality. I soon realized from the sign, that these were Jan Brett’s. Most cages now stood empty. This could only mean one thing. I am sure more children have embarked on a new journey of raising some of Jan Brett’s magical chickens. These magical chickens help make you believe in yourself and accomplish wonderful things surprising even the most skeptical of grown-ups.
This post is linked up to Homestead Revival’s Homestead Barnhop.
Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest