Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile

Overview

Mrs. Chicken has to think fast to outwit hungry Crocodile, who wants to eat her for dinner.

One morning Mrs. Chicken took her bath in a puddle.
“Cluck, cluck,” she said proudly. “What a pretty chicken I am!”

Mrs. Chicken can’t see her wings in the puddle, so she walks down to the river where she can admire all of herself. She doesn’t know that Crocodile is there, waiting for ...

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Overview

Mrs. Chicken has to think fast to outwit hungry Crocodile, who wants to eat her for dinner.

One morning Mrs. Chicken took her bath in a puddle.
“Cluck, cluck,” she said proudly. “What a pretty chicken I am!”

Mrs. Chicken can’t see her wings in the puddle, so she walks down to the river where she can admire all of herself. She doesn’t know that Crocodile is there, waiting for dinner—and a tasty chicken would do nicely! To save herself, Mrs. Chicken tells Crocodile that they are sisters.
But how can a speckled chicken and a green-skinned crocodile be related? Mrs. Chicken had better prove that they are, and fast, because Crocodile is getting hungrier . . .

The authors and illustrator of Head, Body, Legs join together to create another lively retelling of a popular African folktale.
 

Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile is a 2004 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year.

When a crocodile captures Mrs. Chicken and takes her to an island to fatten her up, clever Mrs. Chicken claims that she can prove they are sisters and that, therefore, the crocodile shouldn't eat her.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A New York Public Library "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" Pick
An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Medal Winner
A Riverbank Review Book of Distinction
A School Library Journal Best Book

* "Readers young and old will cluck with delight." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "This delectable offering will be a hit at storytime." —School Library Journal, starred review

Publishers Weekly
The team behind Head, Body, Legs takes on another traditional Liberian tale likely to acquire the timeless patina of a classic. All of the staple ingredients come into play here: animals that mirror human traits, a veiled threat and a happy ending. But the collaborators add a generous dash of modern sparkle with wonderful characterizations and language that echoes oral storytelling. The savvy Mrs. Chicken, rendered as a symphony of oranges and reds, stripes and polka dots, steals the show. Captured by a ravenous crocodile and imprisoned in the predator's island home, she manages to avoid appearing as the entree by insisting they are sisters. Her obtuse captor, whose scales appear as a quilt of riverbed greens and browns, is incredulous ("You're not my sister. You have speckled feathers. I have green skin. You have a beak. I have a mouth with sharp teeth") but gives the captive a chance to prove herself. Mrs. Chicken hatches a clever plan that spares her life and results in a comical conclusion. Paschkis's fluid, graphic illustrations recall cave drawings and Matisse's cut-outs. She visually sets up the conflict between the two protagonists as Mrs. Chicken peers into the river and sees a green scaly image instead of her own, and later hints at the feathered heroine's plan with precisely arranged compositions of the two characters, each guarding her eggs, against a jet-black background. Readers young and old will cluck with delight. Ages 3-7. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When vain Mrs. Chicken determines the puddle is too small for her morning bath, she goes to the river. Just as she steps in, Crocodile grabs her by the foot and takes Mrs. Chicken to her house on an island. Crocodile announces that she is going to eat her. Mrs. Chicken tells Crocodile she can't eat her because they are sisters. She just needs a little time to prove it. Children enjoy the cleverness of Mrs. Chicken as she outwits the crocodile. The story has the right amount of tension and humor for its audience, and the illustrations reflect this as well. The background is white in the outdoor scenes and black inside Crocodile's house. Each turn of the page provides a new perspective of the active green-checkered crocodile. Won-Ldy Paye, a storyteller from Liberia, learned this story from his grandmother. It can also be found in a collection of tales called, Why Leopard Has Spots: Dan Stories from Liberia. The delightful picture book format makes this funny story accessible to a wider audience. 2003, Henry Holt, Ages 3 to 7.
— Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A clever chicken outwits a hungry crocodile by convincing the reptile that she's her sister. Patterned figures placed effectively on black backgrounds lend a dramatic flair to the fresh and funny storytelling. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250046734
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.02 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Won-Ldy Paye was trained as a storyteller by his grandmother. He is from the Dan people of northeastern Liberia, and now lives in Seattle, Washington.

Margaret H. Lippert has taught in the United States as well as in Guatemala and Tanzania, where she learned many stories. She lives on Mercer Island, Washington.

Julie Paschkis is a painter and illustrator who makes her home in Seattle, Washington.

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