Chicken Big

( 7 )

Overview

On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, giant egg. And out of this egg came one big, humongous . . . something. "It's big!" clucked the little rooster. "It's enormous!" clucked the small chicken. "It's anelephant!" peeped the smallest chicken. "Run for your lives!" they cried. No matter how they try, these clueless chickens can't make sense of the gigantic new member of their familyuntil he saves the day. With wacky, laugh-out-loud humor and silliness to spare, this BIG twist ...

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Chicken Big

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Overview

On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, giant egg. And out of this egg came one big, humongous . . . something. "It's big!" clucked the little rooster. "It's enormous!" clucked the small chicken. "It's anelephant!" peeped the smallest chicken. "Run for your lives!" they cried. No matter how they try, these clueless chickens can't make sense of the gigantic new member of their familyuntil he saves the day. With wacky, laugh-out-loud humor and silliness to spare, this BIG twist on the classic Chicken Little story lends a whole new perspective to what it means to be chicken.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Compared to panicky Chicken Little, Chicken Big is unflappable. Born "on a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop," this newborn towers over four fellow chickens, who decide he must be an elephant (his stature recalls the "Hyde and Go Tweet" Merrie Melodies cartoon featuring Tweety and Sylvester). When something drops on the smallest hen, she yelps, "The sky is falling!" Chicken Big calmly says, "It's only an acorn. They're actually quite tasty." He is equally placid and helpful when the ditsy chickens freak out over the rain and wind, revising their guesses about his identity--"Apparently, he is an umbrella!" When a fox steals their eggs and Chicken Big foils the crime, they finally figure it out: "Only one thing could be so smart, so kind, so warm, and so brave." Graves (Desert Rose and Her Highfalutin Hog) renders his fowl in a palette of gray-blue, taupe, and wheat yellow, with exuberant voice bubbles that highlight the ridiculousness of the smaller chickens' assertions. Graves has great fun at their expense--preserving the message that fools jump to hasty conclusions--and kids will, too. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Four zany cartoon-y chickens decide, before the title page, to call this book "Chicken BIG!" For on a very small farm, "in an itty-bitty coop," a small hen lays a "humungous egg." The resulting huge chick is exiled from the tiny coop. When a falling acorn panics the chickens, the big chick tells them it is not the sky falling, but only a tasty acorn. The other chickens speculate about what he can be. When a falling raindrop makes the other chicks run "for their lives," the big chick tells them it is only rain, and offers his wings for shelter. Could he be an umbrella, they wonder? When he shields them from the wind, they determine that he is a sweater. Finally, when he catches the fox that is stealing their eggs, he becomes their hero, declared a chicken at last. He happily moves into the coop, presenting a new problem for the others. Pencil drawings and computer-supplied color create the chicken quartet that act out their silly fears in vignettes and full-page actions. The text is enlivened with large calligraphic words set in speech balloons. The huge chick behaves stoically, filling pages with huge yellow bulk. The back jacket offers a preview of the cartoon-y style and the inanities of the chicks inside. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The pint-size poultry are as brainless as ever in this quirky revision of the classic "Chicken Little" tale, but the hero here is mysterious Chicken Big. Is he an elephant? The smaller chickens are sure that he could not be one of them and exclude him from the coop. When an acorn falls on the smallest one's head, she thinks the sky is falling. But when clear-headed Chicken Big explains what it is and pops it into his mouth, the other chickens decide that he must really be a squirrel. Chicken Big's unwilling companions arrive at one ridiculous conclusion after another. He protects them from the rain, so he could be an umbrella. He keeps them warm in a cold breeze, so he could be a sweater. When all the eggs go missing and Chicken Big saves the day, the others realize that "only one thing could be so smart, so kind, so warm, and so brave." (A chicken, of course.) Graves's pastel-hued illustrations with comic-style panels have a spontaneous and quirky quality reminiscent of Mo Willems's Pigeon and Leonardo books, and thoughtful design plays up the disproportionate size of Chicken Big. An amusing tale that will draw giggles from preschool and early elementary read-aloud audiences, this is a fun addition to any collection or comparative folklore unit.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
"On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, humongous egg"—and, of course, out of that egg hatches a big, humongous chick. He is so big (he looks like a giant yellow pear with a yellow bowl cut looming over the other barnyard fowl) none of the other chickens knows quite what he is. "It's an elephant!" surmises the dimwitted smallest chicken. When an acorn falls and bonks her on the head, she begins the whole sky-is-falling shtick. Chicken Big reassures the panicking chickens—"It's only an acorn. They're actually quite tasty"—and is promptly relabeled a squirrel. Graves rings the changes on the atmospheric woes that might confuse a chicken, causing Chicken Big to go through numerous incarnations: Next he's an umbrella, then a sweater ("This is getting ridiculous," he thinks). The illustrations maximize the goof factor inherent in Chicken Big's babyish colossalness next to the tiny adult chickens, and they incorporate speech bubbles and some sequential panels to advance the foolery. For all kids who know they are really smarter than the grown-ups. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452131467
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 238,286
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith Graves is Professor Emeritus at the Chicken School in Austin, Texas, where he teaches courses in chicken history. Strangely, he has the same name as another guy who wrote the book Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, as well as some other ridiculous books, but we doubt he's the same guy

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hilarious!

    This book is a great twist to the classic Chicken Little. I've read this story with my third grade book club and the kids love the humor and the illustrations. It's flat out funny. As a teacher this book is great to talk about how the not so bright, Chicken Little makes inferences to determine just what this large thing is (ranging from umbrella, squirrel and even an elephant). Through the humor, Keith Graves teaches the struggles of fitting in and trying to belong by still helping others. Place this book in your classroom and home library, it has star power and will stay off the shelves and in kids hands. Chicken BIG book definitely gets kids excited about reading.

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  • Posted November 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Squawk with Chicken Big

    Reading Chicken Big aloud, you start to enjoy the sound of the words: teeny, itty-bitty, humongous, clucked, enormous, squawked, conked, peeped, splatted, hippopotamus, stomping, teensy-weensy.

    It's easy to see how a child hearing and learning the words would get into the rhythm of the book and be captivated by the illustrations of the large, funny looking chick that somehow saves the day. You don't have to be familiar with the story of Chicken Little to appreciate Chicken Big, but a kid who knows the earlier story will surely find Chicken Big particularly fun.

    Great sounds, engaging pictures, and a story about friendship and fitting in -- I highly recommend Chicken Big.

    Reading level 4 to 8.
    ISBN-10: 0811872378 - Hardcover
    Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 18, 2010), 40 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2010

    Fabulously Fun Retake

    "More pees!" More pees!" my two year asks. The first day we had this book I think daddy read it like five times before our kiddo allowed him to put it down. I thought my little guy would be a bit young for this book but I was terribly wrong. He loves it. He loves it so much he's requested it to be read almost every day for over a month.

    Chicken Big is a fabulously fun retake on the Chicken Little tale. The illustrations are reminiscent of a comic strip with word bubbles popping up here and there animating these crazy little chickens. It starts off, "On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, humongous egg...out popped a big, humongous chick." However, the little chickens couldn't figure out what on earth this humongous thing could be and wouldn't allow him in their coop. Throughout their sad attempts in figuring out what he was (an elephant, squirrel, umbrella, etc.) and fear and frantic reaction to things like acorns dropping, rain and wind, he managed to shelter, protect and enlighten them. At the end of the tale, the big humongous chick saves the day and the nutty little chickens realize that, "Only one thing could be so smart, so kind, so warm, and so brave..."

    There are numerous lessons you can pull from this delightful book; not judging someone by how they look, empathy, character, life cycle of a chicken, weather, seasons and science, etc. This would be a great present for kids 2-8 yrs old (probably closer to 4-8 but my 2 year old LOVES this story). It's a fantastic fun read-a-loud and one of my kiddo's new favorites.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    Chicken Enormous (among other things!)

    In it, 4 little chickens contemplate what the big chicken is. They think he might be an elephant (because he is big), a squirrel (because he likes acorns), an umbrella (because he can protect them from rain), etc but (of course), the eventually realize that he is in fact, a chicken (because "only ONE thing could be so smart, so kind, so warm, and so brave.")

    My 3 year old son loves the funny chicken sounds "Buk Bok! Bok! Aaaaawk! Awk!" making it fun to read (if you like making funny sounds) and he repeats a few phrases from the book that he thinks are funny. He also loved learning the words "enormous" and "humongous." But I would have to say that our favorite parts of the book are the back cover (which we have to read at least twice every time we read the book) and the page before the title page ("What should we call this book? How about Chicken Kind of Large! OR ... Chicken Tall! No, no, no. CHICKEN SALAD!"). It really sets the tone of the book, introduces you to all the characters and makes the story even more fun. This book definitely will make you smile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2011

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