Big Chickens

( 3 )


Brimming with silliness and the kind of slapstick humor small children love, this hilarious read-aloud tells the story of what happens when four chickens run away from a wolf who is sneaking into their coop.

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Brimming with silliness and the kind of slapstick humor small children love, this hilarious read-aloud tells the story of what happens when four chickens run away from a wolf who is sneaking into their coop.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
When the four big chickens spot a wolf sneaking into their farmyard they run to the woods to hide. The silly chickens, fearing to jump over a ditch, "tutted, putted, and flutted" until they fall in. Afraid of the cows they spot, they squeak, squirm, and squeal until they bump the cows, who chase them over the fence. At each obstacle, the fearful four carry on until what they are scared of eventually happens. Then they manage to survive and move on. When they finally encounter a wolf in a cave their ruffles, puffles, and shuffles, shrieks, squeaks, and freaks, frighten him away instead. Smugly boasting of their "chicken power," "chicken brains," and "chicken guts" the "dirty, dusty, drippy, dazed, daring chickens" strut their way home. The reading is fun because of the nutty birds and the nifty language. Cole's watercolors deftly visualize the silly birds in their frilly outfits and single pair of green shoes. Of course, their actions are exaggerated and their expressions are overly emotional, but their final parade of "big, brave chickens" is right on target. 2006, Dutton Children's Books/Penguin, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Helakoski gives a new twist to the old story about a henhouse and a furry predator in this funny story. These four suggestible hens are "chicken" in more ways than one. When they first spy a wolf, they run off to hide in the woods, but are soon frightened by a ditch, and then by a peaceful-looking group of cows, and on and on, until they end up in a cave, where an encounter with actual danger leaves them feeling brave for the first time. Bright pictures convey the comic events with an exaggerated style just right for the story line. There's a satisfying amount of silliness that will leave children giggling at the panic-stricken fowl and the chaos they produce wherever they go. Predictable patterns in the language and in the narrative structure add appeal as well. As fluffy as the hens' tail feathers, this selection will be an enjoyable read-aloud for kids on a lap or in a group.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With wordplay reminiscent of Margie Palatini at her best, Helakoski takes four timorous chickens into, then out of, the literal and figurative woods. Fleeing the henhouse after catching sight of a wolf, the pusillanimous pullets come to a deep ditch: " ‘What if we can't jump that far?' ‘What if we fall in the ditch?' ‘What if we get sucked into the mud?' The chickens tutted, putted, and flutted. They butted into themselves and each other, until one by one . . . " they do fall in. But then they pick themselves up and struggle out. Ensuing encounters with cows and a lake furnish similar responses and outcomes; ultimately they tumble into the wolf's very cave, where they "picked, pecked, and pocked. They ruffled, puffled, and shuffled. They shrieked, squeaked, and freaked, until . . . " their nemesis scampers away in panic. Fluttering about in pop-eyed terror, the portly, partly clothed hens make comical figures in Cole's sunny cartoons (as does the flummoxed wolf)-but the genuine triumph in their final strut-" ‘I am a big, brave chicken,' said one chicken. ‘Ohh . . . ' said the others. ‘Me too.' ‘Me three.' ‘Me four' "-brings this tribute to chicken power to a rousing close. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756989132
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 29
  • Sales rank: 1,422,805
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie Helakoski lives in Lawton, Michigan. Henry Cole lives in Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    A reviewer

    My 3 year old daughter loves this book, and it is so cute that I don't mind reading it over and over again! It is filled with silly rhytmes and attractive language, but most of all it is a very funny story. I would definately reccommend it for pre-school or early grade school age kids!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

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