Philadelphia Chickens: A Too-Illogical Zoological Musical Revue
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Philadelphia Chickens: A Too-Illogical Zoological Musical Revue

4.8 41
by Sandra Boynton, Michael Ford

Grammy nominee. #1 New York Times bestseller. And, with 960,000 copies in print, a Recording Industry Association of America Platinum album. What an event! What a show! It’s Philadelphia Chickens—the catchy and quirky, tuneful and toe-tapping, exuberant, unexpected, and totally endearing family-musical-in-a-book.

Here is a full-color songbook of


Grammy nominee. #1 New York Times bestseller. And, with 960,000 copies in print, a Recording Industry Association of America Platinum album. What an event! What a show! It’s Philadelphia Chickens—the catchy and quirky, tuneful and toe-tapping, exuberant, unexpected, and totally endearing family-musical-in-a-book.

Here is a full-color songbook of 17 1/2 illustrated story-poems, and a full-length, fully orchestrated CD of original songs performed by such luminaries as Patti LuPone, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, The Bacon Brothers, and Laura Linney, who pleads "Please, Can I Keep It?"—it followed me home. / What exactly it is/ I don't know. Also joining in are Eric Stoltz, Scott Bakula, and two Boyntons, including daughter Caitlin McEwan, who performs a piece that every little listener will relate to—a love song to the chocolate chip cookies that are just out of reach. With the collaboration of composer Michael Ford (known to Boynton fans from Rhinoceros Tap), Philadelphia Chickens is that rarest of kids' musical discs—one whose inimitable lyrics and music make it as irresistible to parents as it is to their children.

Editorial Reviews

Sandra Boynton -- author of such hits as Moo, Baa, La La La! and The Going to Bed Book -- and Michael Ford present this "too-illogical zoological musical revue" that showcases 17 original songs and a fabulous accompanying CD. Each spread in Part One of the book includes lyrics to the songs highlighted with Boynton illustrations, while Part Two shows the music and full lyrics for all of the numbers. With a star-studded CD featuring songs like "Nobody Understands Me," performed by Meryl Streep, and the foot-stomping "Philadelphia Chickens," sung by the Bacon Brothers, this fauna-filled fiesta is pure genius and will have kids clucking along with the music in no time.
People Magazine
Lions and tigers ... and dancing pigs? Welcome to the magical menagerie of author Sandra Boynton.
Publishers Weekly
Sandra Boynton, long heralded for her menagerie of animal characters (Moo, Baa, La La La; Rhinoceros Tap), puts a fresh cast of singing, dancing critters center stage-from the titular boogying chickens to a tail-wagging "snuggle puppy"-in Philadelphia Chickens, a book-and-CD package billed as an "imaginary musical revue." The first 32 pages contain lyrics and illustrations, the second half of the book includes musical notation and additional lyrics for each song. An all-star cast, including Meryl Streep, Laura Linney, Eric Stoltz and the Bacon Brothers, headlines the musical recording, which features a variety of original show tunes penned by Boynton and composed by Boynton and frequent collaborator Michael Ford. For more on this production see Children's Audio/Video, page 22. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
In an attempt to create a CD that would interest children and expose them to a variety of musical forms, Sandra Boynton has teamed up with songwriter Michael Ford and written 19 songs. Best known for her whimsical drawings of plump, rounded animals, Boynton has stretched artistically and managed to reach new heights. With tongue firmly in cheek, the array of songs is remarkably funny yet tuneful. Boynton has put many of her friends to work singing on the CD including such unlikely performers as Meryl Streep (who has an amazingly good voice), Laura Linney, and The Bacon Brothers. Two songs feature her own children whose musical talents match their mother's. This is a wonderful CD for parents whose children want to hear it again and again and again. "No problem," they'll say as they listen to The Belly Button Song one more time with a sly smile on their faces. This CD is a treasure! 2002, Workman Publishing,
— Joan Kindig
School Library Journal
Zany, yes, but musically diverse and with a complete score and accompanying CD, this book promotes lots of lyrical laughs. It's all here, so why not have the class present this collection of comic songs as a rollicking revue? Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Once again, Boynton goes Broadway: " . . . having completely forgotten how much work had been involved," the creators of Rhinoceros Tap (1996) offer a second, equally effervescent musical revue, packaged as a hardcover book/CD combination. The songs mix chorus-line numbers--"COWS. / We're remarkable COWS. / And wherever we go, / it's a fabulous show. / Oh, you know we are COWS . . . "--with such individual arias as "Please, Can I Keep It?," "I Like To Fuss," and "Belly Button." All but two of the songs, which were previously published as board books, are new. The CD's 19 toe-tapping tracks are performed, with appropriate theatricality, by an oddball cast headlined by the Bacon Brothers, Meryl Streep, and (wait for it) Scott Bakula; the lyrics, decorated with typically stylish Boynton animals, are printed in a large-type, sing-along format, then reprised between musical notation. Ex-toddlers and their parents alike will happily cut the rug along with the title song's Pennsylvanian pullets. (Picture book. 3+) First printing of 100,000; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour

Product Details

Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Book & CD
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
1 - 4 Years

Meet the Author

Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, writer, and songwriter. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over fifty children’s books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers. More than 60 million of her books have been sold—“mostly to friends and family,” she says. She has also written and produced five albums of award-winning children’s music. Three of her albums have been certified Gold, and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has gone Platinum. She lives with her family on a farm in New England.


Michael Ford, Sandra Boynton’s esteemed collaborator on Philadelphia Chickens and Rhinoceros Tap, is a classically trained composer and pianist, with a long detour in Progressive Rock performance. He and his family live down the road a spell from Sandy.

Brief Biography

"Somewhere in rural Connecticut"
Date of Birth:
April 3, 1953
Place of Birth:
Orange, New Jersey
B.A., Yale University, 1974; attended University of California--Berkeley Drama School and Yale Drama School

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Philadelphia Chickens 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Mamacat531 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely the best kids' music CD ever!  Funny, catchy, sweet, smart & silly.  I bought this when my son was about two, because we loved the Sandra Boynton books.  He's now nearly eleven, and we STILL love listening to this.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
I love good music, funny songs and Sandra Boynton, so, of course, I love this book and CD. Which is for all ages except 43. :) My favorite group on the CD has got to be the Bacon Brothers because they have that Brian Setzer swing-thing going on. Also, if you ever wanted to hear Kevin Kline sing, this would be your chance.  The lyrics (and therefore the written text) are perfectly ridiculous, with emphasis on the perfect. And Sandra Boynton's illustrations match, again perfectly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son loves this book and CD. We use the CD more than the book. My husband and I don't mind listening to it either. It's fun for all and shakes things up from the same ol' same ol' children's music. Makes a great gift too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the fact that the kids are exposed to different types of music while recognizing the lyrics are stories they have had read to them over, and over and over. We play it in the van full of grandkids, and ok, I admit, I often listen to it when just me in the van! All ages will love this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My young granddaughter enjoys creative dancing and gymnastics. This joyful and silly music provides her with the perfect media for listening and interacting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Receiving this as a gift for our newborn grandson produced marvelous calming, walking tunes for a crying infant & smiles for the grown-up walker who appreciated its subtle humor. Soon we all learned melodies & lyrics that stayed long after the CD wore out from many plays. It's one of the first books helping that baby, now 6-year old, learn to read. Sandra Boynton & her friends are wonderful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peg0919 More than 1 year ago
Get ready to repeat this many times--and it help if you can sing (even if its off key). The lyrics are fun for kids and adults. Get ready for some serious silliness!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are a few books in this series but this is the BEST one. My kids loved it several years ago and still love it today. The songs are so fun! It's a great gift item and one of our family favorites!
lynard69 More than 1 year ago
This is a sing along book and CD. It is FAR FAR BETTER than Dog Train. My daughter and I sing to it constantly in the car. My favorite song is 15 Animals. But I am partial to Meryl Streeps Jazzy tune; she has an amazing voice. Every one is catchy and engaging. Even my Husband was found popping it in and singing along. One of the best I have ever had!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Our 18month old daughter loves Sandra Boynton books, she has since she was just a few days old. And this CD is loved and often played on our home. The Belly Button Song is her favorite and she shouts 'Belly Button' as a greeting to everybody! Just thinking about this CD bring a smile to our faces. If your kids love Sandra Boynton, they deserve this CD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is our favorite. The songs are so clever and fun that we enjoy listening and singing along which greatly increases our son's amusement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recieved this book as a gift. I love it. I'd have to say I love it more than my children. I find myself singing the songs as the apply to everyday life. EXAMPLE... when I get a cookie... 'oh chocolate chip cookie so high on the self....'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recieved this book as a shower gift. My son is now 10 months old and I know all the words because we listen to it so much. He loves to clap and bounce to the music. I can't wait to purchase all of the others from this author!
Guest More than 1 year ago
We found this book at a little shop while on vacation. We have been playing and reading it since my son was an infant. Now almost 4 years old he still brings the book to us to read. The music is so fun. It has a something for parents to enjoy just as much. Even a friend of ours wanted a copy and she didn't have any children. Our favorite songs: Belly Button, 15 animals, cows. One of my sons first words was 'remarkable' cows because of the song!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is perfect for the car. Enjoyable for the adults and children. My 4 year old thinks 'truly Terrible Mood' is about her and my 17 month old sings 'Suggle Puppy' outloud. The book is a great way to get old kids involved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We found this book/cd at the library and were so excited. We'd already purchased Rhinoceros Tap and LOVED it so were eager to hear the next installment from the talented Ms. Boynton. We were not disappointed! I loved the witty lyrics and jazz-inspired showtunes and my kids (4 and 6 yrs) quickly memorized the words to all their new favorites and continue to sing them even after we returned the book (sadly) to the library. We will have to purchase our own copy soon. My only, very slight, criticism of this book is that there were a few too many slower ballad-type tunes which lost the kids' attention for a bit. (However my husband and I enjoyed those too) Their favorites? The Aardvarks Intermission Song was the hands-down winner followed closely by the Busy, Busy song which is a fun tongue-twister to try and sing along with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My family has enjoyed Sandra Boynton books for years (I started buying them before my children were even born). This is one of the best of the collection. To see my children dancing little jigs and singing along to the fun songs is just priceless. As a parent and an educator (I own and operate a preschool as well) I recommend this book to all parents.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son received this as a gift and 'we' love it. We have the CD in the car and it makes long rides much more fun!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Can't be too enthusiastic about the music. The entire family fell in love with the tunes, enjoys singing along and everyone has their favorite. On one long car trip the kids petitioned to hear this CD at LEAST 6 times. This is music that, happily, parents can love as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would give this more stars if possible! This book and CD are so wonderful!! I have three girls....ages one, four and six and they all LOVE this book/CD. The older kids sing along as they read the book and look at the pictures. They really get a kick out of it. Personally, I think the songs are adorable...witty and unique! Finally a CD that we can ALL enjoy in the car. By the way, I have been a Boynton fan since she first started out...I love her work and this is by far one of my favorites that she has is really great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We love Boynton books (husband, baby, and myself), so I thought I would give this a try, even though we have every other kids CD imaginable. This one is permanently stationed in our CD changer. As soon as 'Cows' comes on, my daughter (about to turn 1) starts 'dancing'. My husband and I are constantly singing the songs. It is especially great because it puts music to many of our Boynton favorites (ie: Snuggle Puppy) - the only downside is that I can no longer just read the books - I have to sing them! I, too, will buy this for every kid I know.