Henny Penny

Overview

Everyone has heard the story of Henny Penny, and how her foolishness led her to a terrible end. But that is the version from the fox's point of view. In this beautifully illustrated retelling, readers will enjoy a cheery new take on the tale of Henny Penny, who may have been smarter than anyone previously thought. The familiar repetition of silly names and the even sillier antics of the animal characters will win over readers as they have for generations, while Sophie Windham's gorgeous illustrations bring a ...

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Overview

Everyone has heard the story of Henny Penny, and how her foolishness led her to a terrible end. But that is the version from the fox's point of view. In this beautifully illustrated retelling, readers will enjoy a cheery new take on the tale of Henny Penny, who may have been smarter than anyone previously thought. The familiar repetition of silly names and the even sillier antics of the animal characters will win over readers as they have for generations, while Sophie Windham's gorgeous illustrations bring a fresh new perspective to this heroic hen's tale.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although Windham's (The Obvious Elephant) painterly illustrations set a classical tone, French's (A Present for Mom) text grants the famous fowl a considerable intelligence upgrade. Henny Penny still believes that the sky is falling, still rallies Turkey Lurkey et al. to warn the king, and still leads her friends right into the clutches of the voracious Foxy Loxy. But once the group arrives in the lair, Henny Penny has an epiphany of sorts. Noticing the bones and feathers strewn about, the chicken deduces that they're on the menu. (Windham captures this light bulb moment in a deliciously wry spot illustration.) "Now, Henny Penny...," the clucky heroine says to herself, steeling herself for what's ahead, "You may be silly, but surely there's something you can do." And she's right. She offers to tidy up the place, and while doing so, sings a lullaby so soporific that Fox falls fast asleep and the group tiptoes away. Aside from this tip of the hat to self-actualization, however, the book comes down solidly on the side of old-fashioned storytelling. Ages 4-8. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A charmingly fleshed-out version of the traditional story. One morning, an acorn falls on Henny Penny's head. As she encounters various animals, she explains, "I was shaking my dustcloth this way and that, round and round, and all of a sudden the sky fell down!" Fortunately, when she and her friends are trapped in Foxy Loxy's house, she realizes the severity of their situation. Seeing "feathers on the floor," "a pile of old bones," and "a BIG pot of water on the roaring fire," she cleverly fools the gullible fox and springs them from their otherwise dire ending. Brightly colored and skillfully drawn illustrations balance perfectly with the delightful text and draw readers into their depths. Whimsical details include a napkin holder and a fork decorated with a fox head, a cookbook that has an image of a dressed fowl on the cover, and a picture of an imagined stew pot on a lit fire that is filled with all the birds surrounded by carrots and onions. Even if your library has Steven Kellogg's Chicken Little (HarperCollins, 1987), you'll want this sprightly retelling of a favorite tale. It will make a great read-aloud.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The traditional tale gets a new-and happier-ending in this clever retelling. French directly addresses readers, telling them they may have heard the story about Henny Penny before, but that was the foxes' version. This one is the truth. Both accounts are identical up to the point where the five fowl meet the fox on their way to tell the king the sky is falling. Since they do not know where he lives, the fox leads them . . . right to his den so they can share a meal. But clever Henny Penny sees feathers, bones, a pot of water and a single place-setting, and knows she must do something. Her clever solution allows the friends to escape safely, without harming the fox. The muted colors and textured feel to Windham's artwork lends the illustrations a country feel that suits the text perfectly. A welcome addition to the fairy-tale genre. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582347066
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 6/27/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 782,172
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.87 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Vivian French is an acclaimed children's author with a long and respected list of titles to her credit. She lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sophie Windham is the illustrator of The Obvious Elephant. She lives in England with her husand and two children. Sophie has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

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