Barkus, Sly and the Golden Egg

Overview

This timeless fable relates the story of three chickens hen-napped by two bad (and not very clever) foxes. With a bit of luck and a lot of pluck, these not-so-chicken chickens devise a plan to escape by tricking the foxes into believing that one of them has laid a golden egg. The two greedy foxes fight over the possession of the egg, leaving the clever chickens free to make their escape.

Three inventive chickens find an ingenious ...

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Lambert, Sally Anne 2002 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. New book. 32 p.; 0.41" x 12.04" x 9.58". Picture / Wordless book.

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Overview

This timeless fable relates the story of three chickens hen-napped by two bad (and not very clever) foxes. With a bit of luck and a lot of pluck, these not-so-chicken chickens devise a plan to escape by tricking the foxes into believing that one of them has laid a golden egg. The two greedy foxes fight over the possession of the egg, leaving the clever chickens free to make their escape.

Three inventive chickens find an ingenious way to escape from the two foxes that intend to eat them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
When wicked foxes Barkus and Sly steal three chickens to cook and eat, they don't reckon on being tricked by the clever birds. Not only do the chickens delay being eaten by convincing the foxes that they can lay golden eggs, but they stir up trouble between them. As Barkus and Sly angrily chase each other out of town, the chickens escape and return everything the foxes have stolen to the townspeople. Lambert's deft colored drawings are replete with details, even a map of the village, the clothing of the villains, and the bits of stolen loot. She creates the characters with gestures and facial expressions that masterfully convey emotions as they generate smiles. A contemporary moral tale in the old-fashioned tradition. 2002, Bloomsbury Children's Books,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Two fox cousins are up to no good. They spend their nights stealing, and their shed is filled with loot. Biddy, Bluff, and Tweed, three chickens stolen by the dishonest duo, are being held captive until such time as they will be served up for the dastardly pair's dinner. But Tweed has a plan. Poking through the treasures, she discovers a box of gold utensils including a little ladle, and she convinces Sly that Biddy is about to lay a golden egg. Then, with the assistance of a plum cake supplied by one of the culprits, he convinces each of them that the other has run off with the prize. The chickens escape, leaving a trail of golden knives and forks, which leads the farmer and townspeople to their stolen treasures. Having the universal appeal of the weak outwitting the strong, the story is told with delicious humor and good pacing, and the pleasing watercolor illustrations add much detail to the clever text. Variety in size and placement of the pictures creates a nice artistic balance and the colors glow with warmth. The foxes' size and posture convey the danger they represent to the chickens, yet their menace is tempered by their foolishness, and one picture of the two resting by the fire after dinner is a benign scene reminiscent of Wind in the Willows. Chicken personalities, too, are conveyed through gesture and facial expression. A grand package.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Three clever chickens outwit their abductors-and save themselves from certain death-in this pro-poultry tale. Barkus and Sly Fox are introduced in the opening; Lambert's (Little Ones Do, 2001, etc.) soft-edged vignettes show the titular cousins as they lurk about the village at night then grab their loot from a local hen house (" ‘I would like a plump roast chicken for my supper,' said Barkus"). But Biddy, Bluff, and Tweed have chutzpah; since the thieves have put them in a shed overnight, they also have time to hatch a plan ("No one is going to serve us with cream sauce"). Searching for a way to escape the shed, Tweed stumbles upon a box of stolen cutlery. Among the forks and knives is a golden ladle. Lambert's double-paged, full-bleed spread reveals the ruse: Biddy sits on a nest with the rounded orb of the ladle peeking out from beneath her tail feathers. "If you eat one of us she'll be so upset she won't lay," Tweed tells her hungry captor, and he decides to let them be. The tightly woven narrative moves toward a satisfying conclusion as greed causes a rift between the cousins and eventually leads to freedom for the flock. McAllister's take on a time-honored theme is vibrant and fresh; quickly paced, the narrative is just right for reading aloud. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582347646
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/5/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST US
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.76 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela McAllister comes from a large, close, extended family, and has always worked with children. Her books are driven by a great wish to celebrate the genius in every child and by the need to use words and pictures to make a sense of her own experiences. Angela has written over thirty books for children and illustrated several herself. She has two children aged seven and three, who are fantastic bookworms and brilliant inspiration. Angela lives in a crumbly 16th century cottage with an unruly garden on the edge of the Dorset Downs in England.

Sally Anne Lambert is the illustrator of many beautiful books for children, including Too Close Friends praised by Booklist for Lambert's "gorgeously detailed" illustrations and Little Ones Do. She lives in England.

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