Amadeus The Leghorn Rooster
Written by Delores B. Nevils
Illustrated by Jonathan Green
Growing up on a farm in New Jersey, I took care of different kinds of animals, but my favorite were the three baby chicks I got to take home from school one day in a little cardboard box, after watching them hatch in an incubator in my classroom. I was fortunate when those chicks grew into two hens and rooster, because my parents told me that meant we would have fresh eggs every day. Once the hens began to lay eggs, the fun I would have pulling on my dad’s big rubber boots and heading out to to the chicken coop each day, excited for the warm, brown eggs I would find in the nests. However, I would soon learn that the rooster was not very fond of me coming into the chicken coop. Those big rubber boots became more protection from the pecking and chasing around the barn yard by that rooster, and the ‘cock-a-doodling’ by that crazy bird was enough to drive a small kid crazy. But still, I strapped on those boots and tried to show that rooster who was boss. While this went on for quite some time, one day the cold Jersey winter got the best of that old rooster. I have to admit, collecting the eggs was a little less exciting from that point on, but I felt he was still in that barnyard, keeping me in check.
So is the true story of Amadeus The Leghorn Rooster, by local author Delores B. Nevils and illustrated by the talented Jonathan Green. Ms. Nevils, the ‘Widow Lady’, writes of her small, colorful cottage on St. Helena Island and the two kittens, a mother cat and two dogs that live with her. One day, a magnificent leghorn rooster shows up, and in time begins strutting and cock-a-doodling all around the yard, showing the animals he is the boss. The other animals soon find they aren’t too fond of him, as he is taking all the attention of the Widow Lady, and try to find a way to get him to leave. The story includes vibrant illustrations that reflect the beauty of the lowcountry and the stories that are a part of it. Maybe some day, if you are on St. Helena Island, you will be fortunate to hear the story of Amadeus from the Widow Lady herself.
Review by Linda Burton