Carolyn Mott Ford
Children's LiteratureBoldly colored paintings illustrate the retelling of this story from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Chanticleer, the handsome, finely-feathered pride of the farmyard, brings in each day with a loud, "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo!" The other creatures in the barnyard, including his mate, Pertelote, admire Chanticleer and he concurs with their assessments. Then one day his nightmare of a snarling, red beast comes true when a hungry fox appears skulking around the yard. The fox flatters the rooster, asking him to stretch his neck and crow. When Chanticleer shuts his eyes and crows with pride, the fox quickly grabs him by the throat and takes off for the woods. The barnyard animals try to rescue their rooster, but stop in fear at the edge of the dark wood. The clever Chanticleer turns the tables with flattery, urging the fox to brag to the other animals of his cunning in the capture. When the fox opens his mouth to brag, the rooster escapes and they have both learned a lesson about pride and flattery. Details about the origins of this tale as well as information about the farmyard animals appear in the back of the book. 2003 (orig. 2002), Millbrook Press,
Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library JournalK-Gr 4-After being outsmarted by a cunning fox, a cocky rooster gathers his wits and turns the tables on his captor. Geoffrey Chaucer's Chanticleer is brought to life through a riveting retelling and magnificent, edge-of-your-seat artwork. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsVirtuosic animal portraits adorn this lively retelling of Chaucer's "Nun's Priest's Tale." Flattering vain rooster Chanticleer into stretching up to crow, a fox, "reddish, doggish, and hungry for his supper," seizes him by the neck and heads for the woods, pursued by an array of exactly rendered-though often only partially visible-livestock. Turnabout being fair play, just before Fox can disappear into the forest Chanticleer escapes by persuading him to stop and open his mouth to boast of his prowess. Ward (Old Shell, New Shell, not reviewed, etc.) discusses the story's origins, then closes with a key to the breeds, many of which are rare or exotic, that she depicts in the extraordinary illustrations. Younger readers may skip over the final section (particularly as it's printed in vanishingly tiny type)-no matter: they are sure to linger over the sumptuous art and to get the point of this ageless fable. (Picture book/folktale. 7-10)
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