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by Margie Palatini, Barry Moser (Illustrator)

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They heard the ground grumble. Then they felt the ground rumble. And before they knew it, they were all taking a tumble!
"The earth is crumbling! The earth is crumbling! It's a quake!" quacked the duck.

In this inspired take on Henny Penny, who thought the sky was falling, Chucky Ducky, Lucy Goosey, and Vickie, Nickie, and Rickie Chickie


They heard the ground grumble. Then they felt the ground rumble. And before they knew it, they were all taking a tumble!
"The earth is crumbling! The earth is crumbling! It's a quake!" quacked the duck.

In this inspired take on Henny Penny, who thought the sky was falling, Chucky Ducky, Lucy Goosey, and Vickie, Nickie, and Rickie Chickie spread the alarm that the earth is quaking. But just like Henny Penny, these concerned animals find that the cause of the crisis they fear is not what they expect at all.
Filled with clever wordplay, Margie Palatini's rollicking romp is given an added dimension through Barry Moser's dynamic and playful illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Earthshaking rumblings make for a skittish duckling (and other nervous farm animals) in this somewhat long-winded variation on the Henny Penny theme. After completing his morning laps, a jittery Chucky Ducky fervently attempts to warn the other skeptical and pun-fully named animals (e.g., Lucy Goosey, Sue Ewe, Billy the kid) of what he's sure is an earthquake (He heard the ground grumble. He felt the ground rumble). Oh, it can't be that baa-ad, retort the lambs while the pig grunts, Hogwash! Several lengthy episodes of earth crumbling and animal tumbling pass before a hungry weasel (sporting a white coat and masquerading as Herman Ermine) provides a refreshing detour and real tension to the story. Moser's (Sit, Truman!) realistic watercolors play up the climax, as they place the large, expressive characters front and center against mostly white backdrops that darken when the lip-licking weasel hits the scene. Palatini's (Bedhead) frequently rhyming and sometimes clichEd prose dabbles in cultural references that may elude younger readers (Joel and Lowell Mole, who cause the earthshaking commotion while looking for their cousin, Garret Ferret, ask, Does anybody know the way to San Jose? We think we took a wrong turn at the Lincoln Tunnel). Children may be left scratching their heads as the tale concludes that Chucky Ducky, right from the beginning, was all wet. Ages 4-8. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Instead of spreading the word that the sky is falling as Henny Penny did, Chucky Ducky raises the alarm when he notices the ground grumble and rumble as he stumbles and tumbles. From Lucy Goosey and three Chickies, the earthquake warning is carried by Brewster Rooster to Sue Ewe, Nanny Goat, and others. Spotting the huddled and frightened group, a conniving, hungry weasel almost has them all in his clutches when Joel and Lowell Mole, lost while tunneling, are revealed to be the cause of the quaking. All but the weasel are happily relieved. Palatino has her usual fun with word play and amusing characters. Moser creates these animals as solidly naturalistic but charged with expressive personalities. The full-page graphite and transparent watercolors add a gutsy quality to the light-hearted fun. 2002, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-The sky isn't in danger of falling, but the ground beneath Chucky Ducky's feet is quaking. As he warns each of his skeptical friends, they, in turn, come to accept Chucky's conclusion that the earth is crumbling. Even Brewster Rooster, who, as per his job description, only doodle-doos once a day, becomes convinced of impending disaster and sounds the alarm. In this adaptation of the "Henny Penny" tale, Palatini replaces Foxy-Loxy with an equally nefarious lip-smacking antagonist in Weasel, who operates under the guise of an ermine named Herman. Moser captures the essence of Weasel's dark determination as well as the bug-eyed hysteria of the farm animals in his expressive graphite and transparent watercolor illustrations. The text pages alternate with full-page illustrations in a simple but effective book design. Palatini's text is funny, with contemporary dialogue, puns, and a fast-paced narrative rich in rhythm and alliteration (but not overwhelmingly so). Intentional or not, the conclusion, which involves the surfacing of a pair of underground drilling mole brothers, reminds one of the classic Bugs Bunny lament, "I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque." Once again, audiences will be thankful for burrowing mammals with poor senses of direction, and, in this case, for a rollicking retelling of an old classic.-Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Archon of Alliteration, Palatini (Tub Boo Boo, 2001, etc.) scores again with this belly-quaking, thigh-slapping, earth-shaking take on "Henny Penny," starring Chucky Ducky, Lucy Goosey, Vickie, Nickie, and Rickie Chickie, Sue Ewe, and other farmyard residents. The ground grumbles, the ground rumbles, then everyone takes a tumble: is it an earthquake? Enter Herman Ermine, ready to take advantage of the general panic-until he too takes a tumble. Moser (That Summer, p. 571, etc.) leaves the backgrounds in most of his full-page tableaux white or monochromatic, focusing attention on livestock that is at once naturalistically drawn, but with comically human expressions and body language. So what's shaking (besides readers, that is)? Just Joel and Lowell Mole, on their subterranean way to San Jose to visit cousin Garret Ferret. No harm done here, except perhaps to lots of funnybones. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 0.50(h) x 11.10(d)
AD400L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Margie Palatini is the author of many celebrated children's books, including Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes, The Three Silly Billies and Earthquack!, all illustrated by Barry Moser, as well as Sweet Tooth and Bedhead, both illustrated by Jack E. Davis. She lives with her family in New Jersey. Visit Margie at margiepalatini.com.

Barry Moser has won numerous accolades for his work, including the prestigious National Book Award for Design and Illustration and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. He is both an author and an artist, whose illustrations can be seen in books ranging from Voices of Ancient Egypt by Kay Winters to Hummingbird Nest: A Journal of Poems by Kristine O'Connell George. Barry Moser's work is represented in collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, and the Library of Congress. He lives in western Massachusetts.

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