Cluck O'Clock

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The duo previously paired for Our Twitchy teams up again for this picture-book look at a day in the life of some plucky hens and their farmyard friends. From sunrise at "4 o'cluck" to bedtime and henhouse lockup at 7 o'cluck at night, Freda, Faye and the rest of the feathered gang fill the hours with typical chicken pursuits. Hunting for worms, flapping in a dust bath and visiting the blackbird named Jane, who lives down the lane, are all part of the fun. And things never quite settle down, even as midnight, and a bit of suspense, approach. Kids will no doubt enjoy this lighthearted, behind-the-scenes peek at a traditional family-run farm. Gray's clever rhyming couplets bounce right along as they conjure breezy barnyard scenarios. In her cross-hatched, textured paintings, McQuillan blends inviting views of sunny blue sky and verdant pasture. Her memorable cast of hens, decked out in a quirky palette of chipper colors and accents (stripes, hearts, squiggles), along with Colin the rooster, give readers something to crow about. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Following the hens in this barnyard through their day, hour by hour, is great fun. The text is frequently silly ("The Hend" instead of "The End") and always rhyming, while McQuillan's artwork supports the tone of the book beautifully. The sometimes frightened, sometimes bewildered hens show all of their emotions on their faces. In the meantime, children are exposed throughout to the clock (in the shape of the egg), making learning to tell time a pleasure. The rhyme, coupled with the whimsical, textured illustrations, make this a natural for story time. 2004, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 7.
—Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This entertaining book captures the waddle and pluck of a group of chickens as they amble through a long, almost carefree day. From "4 o'cluck in the morning" until "12 o'cluck midnight," the eight egg layers and one rooster are busy dive-bombing ducks, visiting with Jane the blackbird, and finding shapes in the clouds. However, at nighttime, they tremble with fear because of a fox named Olga, even though they're safely locked in the henhouse. Of course, the quick-thinking rooster prevails, and the predator departs with dirt in her eye. This energetic and silly story has a lilting rhyme that sets a frolicking pace. The tale also addresses the concept of time, and while things often happen on the hour, events also occur at 12:25 or at 10:57, so that the flow of hours and minutes is more natural. The illustrations enhance the humor of the text; they are colorful, bright, and effectively textured. Ranging from orange to light blue to purple with hearts, each chicken is visually unique and full of personality. McQuillan supports the time-telling concept with a visual prop-a small egg on animated legs with a numberless clock face and black hands. With its infectious sense of fun, this title can be used as a read-aloud or as a lighthearted aid in enlightening children about timekeeping.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A busy day down on the farm is the premise for this lesson in telling time, focusing on a coop full of perky hens with names such as Jane, Marge, and Freda, and their resident rooster, Colin. The rhyming text includes various ways of stating the time, with the repeating pun of "o'cluck" instead of "o'clock." A small clock, shaped like an egg, precedes the relevant text, showing each new time designation. The hens are a funny flock in both their actions throughout the day and in the way they are portrayed in the illustrations, with different imaginative colorations and characteristics to lend each of them individuality. In the story's climax, the chickens fend off a dramatic midnight attack from a fox named Olga (a welcome female villain), who gets mud in her eye and fleas in her ears to send her packing. Funny stories that make the potentially boring subject of telling time more interesting are welcome any time in the kindergarten and first-grade classroom, and teachers and librarians will be happy to give this tale a few minutes in story hours about chickens or clocks. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823418091
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.92 (w) x 9.92 (h) x 0.28 (d)

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