Prairie Chicken Little

Prairie Chicken Little

4.7 4
by Jackie Mims Hopkins, Henry Cole

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In this prairie-style twist on Chicken Little, Mary McBlicken hears a rumble and is sure a stampede s a comin'! She sets off to warn Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan, gathering up her friends along the way. Before they can get there, though, the band of prairie critters gets tricked by a mean Coyote and trapped in his evil den. Will the friends escape in time? And where


In this prairie-style twist on Chicken Little, Mary McBlicken hears a rumble and is sure a stampede s a comin'! She sets off to warn Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan, gathering up her friends along the way. Before they can get there, though, the band of prairie critters gets tricked by a mean Coyote and trapped in his evil den. Will the friends escape in time? And where is that rumbling coming from after all?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hopkins gives this story of miscommunication and false alarm a Southwestern spin, much as she did in The Three Armadillies Tuff and The Horned Toad Prince. The narrative uses internal rhyming and several dropped g’s to create a jaunty cadence, as Mary McBlicken (the eponymous prairie chicken) spreads her panic after she hears “a rumblin’ and a grumblin’ and a tumblin’.” She dashes “lickety-splickety” to tell each of her animal pals (including Jeffrey Snog the prairie dog, Beau Grabbit the jack rabbit, and June Spark the meadowlark) that a “stampede’s a comin’!” Each responds, “How do you know that this is so?” The repetition invites chiming in from young readers, who will also find plenty to chuckle at in Cole’s (Unspoken) bustling watercolor, ink, and colored-pencil illustrations, which convey the animals’ overblown fright with comedic bravado. Things get a bit convoluted as the story reaches its climax, when “Slim Brody the sly coyote” tries to lead the animals astray, but the book remains a lively take on this familiar tale. Ages 4�8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Debra Lampert-Rudman
Mary McBlicken is a distraught, anxiety-driven, prairie chicken in Jackie Mims Hopkins', delightful and completely original, retelling of the Chicken Little classic. Surrounded by motionless bison on the open prairie, Mary is certain a stampede is coming when she hears a "rumbling and a grumbling and a tumbling." With wide-eyed, open-beaked fury, humorously rendered in watercolor, ink, and colored pencil by legendary illustrator Henry Cole, Mary scurries back to the ranch to warn Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan. On the way, she frantically alarms Jeffrey Snog, the prairie dog, Beau Grabbit the jack rabbit, and June Spark the Meadowlark, who race along with her to the ranch. On the way, the group meets Slim Brody, the "sly coyote," who suggests a shortcut through his den (strewn with unhealthy-looking sodas, pizza crust, and various cans and bottles). As he is about to pounce for his dinner, Cowboy Stan (a horse) and Red Dog Dan (a dog who appears slightly feline) save the day. And, what, the reader may ask, caused the rumbling, grumbling, and tumbling? Why, Mary's stomach, of course! So, on Stan's advice, they all sit down to a vegetarian meal cooked by Cowboy "Chef" Stan. And, what became of coyote Brody? "Sly Slim," a carnivore, is left howling at the moon on the endpaper. Plenty of tension and rhyming to keep both preschoolers and early readers entertained. Reviewer: Debra Lampert-Rudman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—When Mary McBlicken hears "a rumbling and a grumbling and a tumbling," she thinks a stampede is coming. The bison grazing peacefully nearby eye her curiously as she frantically heads toward the ranch to warn Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan. She encounters Jeffrey Snog the prairie dog, Beau Grabbit the jack rabbit, and June Spark the meadowlark, who follow her "lickety-splickety" toward the ranch. Unfortunately, they encounter Slim Brody the sly coyote, whose evil intentions become clear when the shortcut he shows them leads to his den. Red Dog Dan, riding his horse, Cowboy Stan, hears the ruckus and comes to the rescue. With the coyote gone, they realize that what Mary thought was a stampede is just her empty stomach making noises. Cowboy Stan cooks up a satisfying supper that they share as the red sun sets on the prairie. Cartoon characters with large, expressive eyes hurry across a painterly prairie under a wide blue sky with white clouds. The contrast heightens tension, as does the placid spread that shows the friends following the coyote to his den. The simple text with its rhyming words and repeated phrases will appeal to emerging readers. Pair Steven Kellogg's Chicken Little (Morrow, 1987), featuring a city setting, with this prairie version of the folktale for an entertaining storyhour.—Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Kirkus Reviews
Mary McBlicken is one panicky prairie chicken. While out on the grasslands one day, Mary the prairie chicken hears a terrible rumbling and grumbling. Sure it's a stampede, she runs away lickety-split to warn Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan; they'll know what to do. Along her pell-mell flight, she meets in turn Jeffrey Snog the prairie dog, Beau Grabbit the jackrabbit and June Spark the meadowlark, and Mary succeeds in freaking them all out. Everyone runs until they meet Slim Brody the coyote. He says he knows a shortcut to the ranch. A few quick turns lead to a suspicious-looking tunnel. The friends know something's up, and their squawking attack brings Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan running. The two (horse and Chihuahua) chase away that nasty coyote …and the whole crew discover what the rumbling and grumbling really was: Mary's stomach! It's supper time. Hopkins' prairie take on "Chicken Little" is made storytime perfect by Cole's characteristically hysterical, watercolor-and–colored-pencil cartoons of goggle-eyed critters. It's also a nice twist that Mary and her friends save themselves from the coyote rather than ending up as lunch or requiring outside assistance. The prairie animals (some not mentioned in the text) make this a nice addition to cross-curricular libraries, though it's too bad there is no additional information as a backmatter bonus. Nevertheless, good fun to share in a lap or with a group. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
AD690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Prairie Chicken Little 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
There’s a stampede a comin’ and Mary the prairie chicken is off to tell Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan about it, so lickety-splickety she set off. She heard a rumbling and a grumbling and a tumbling on the grassland when she searching for breakfast and she knew she had to do something. Just like the classic story Chicken Little, Mary runs into a variety of animals who run off with her before meeting up a sly coyote who leads them on a winding path back to his den. His den is littered with a pizza box and soda but these animals are clever and the coyote meets his match. What’s the rumbling and a grumbling and the tumbling that Mary heard, well you’ll have to talk to Cowboy Stan as he’s the one with the answer that explains everything to the animals. The expressions on the animals faces and the text make this book fun to read.
ACS_Book_Blogger More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book! Prairie Chicken is a chicken named Mary who hears a rumbling in her stomach. She thinks the rumbling is a stampede of bison and wants to warn her friends. So she runs and meets up with very cute animals. The prairie animals are gullible and follow a fox into his den. The sly fox thinks he will have a great dinner but is not prepared when Mary (Prairie Chicken Little) and her animal friends start a big ruckus. The faithful horse and dog are close enough to the den that they hear the ruckus being made and realize that Mary and friends are in trouble. Horse and dog come and chase the fox far away and then fix a great supper after which Mary does not hear the rumbling any more. The author has taken a famous old story of "chicken little, the sky is falling" fame and rewritten it delightfully. The illustrations are colorful and very expressive. The action shown in the art is lively and absolutely funny. The critters "body language" and facial expressions will have readers chuckling. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was given us by Peachtree Publishers in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.
book4children More than 1 year ago
Illustrations can really make or break a picture book. Fortunately, the illustrations in this book are fantastic. The animals all have a lot of personality and expression. I love the way the pictures are shown from the perspective of the chicken. So any animals that are bigger or smaller than she is are portrayed respectively. The story itself is funny and entertaining to read. It is a good book to read out loud to your children, especially if you do fun voices for each of the characters.
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
Mary McBlicken a prairie chicken fears a stampede and rushes to the ranch to warn her friends Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan.  They will surely know what to do.  On the way she rounds up some of her furry and feathered friends.  They too want to know what Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan have to say about the rumblin' and tumblin' Mary heard.  Before they got to the ranch a coyote offers to show them a shortcut to the ranch.  But is this a trick? Can the coyote be trusted? He sure had a big grin on his face. Why would anyone be happy about a stampede?  Will they get to Stan and Dan in time to stop the stampede? This is one of the most enjoyable and funny books I have read in a long while.  It had a cute repetitive rhythmic sing song to the story.  Loved the western accent the characters had with the common slang of the wild west.  The illustration told the story with the funny characters in their rustic old west colors of the creatures and their habitat.  The ending was a real hoot!  Love it! Love it!  I am still smiling. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Peachtree Publishers for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my honest opinion.