The Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen

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Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney enlivens the beloved fable with cheerful and classically beautiful illustrations, making this the ideal edition for every child’s library.
 
As he did with his Caldecott-winning The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney has masterfully adapted this story of the hardworking hen and her lazy neighbors.

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Overview

Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney enlivens the beloved fable with cheerful and classically beautiful illustrations, making this the ideal edition for every child’s library.
 
As he did with his Caldecott-winning The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney has masterfully adapted this story of the hardworking hen and her lazy neighbors. Its Golden Rule message and sassy finale are just as relevant and satisfying as ever. Read it in tandem with Pinkney’s Puss in Boots and The Tortoise and the Hare or David Wiesner’s The Three Pigs.
 
 
"Perfect [for] sharing with one listener, or a crowd." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“Cheerful [and] luminous. Kids will gleefully chime in.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“A lush light-filled rendition of a folktale staple.”—School Library Journal (starred review)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...perfect, as are the pictures, for sharing with one listener, or a crowd." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Cheerful [and] luminous. Kids will gleefully chime in.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A lush light-filled rendition of a folktale staple.”—School Library Journal, starred review

Publishers Weekly
Caldecott Honor artist Pinkney puts a sprightly spin on this classic tale with resplendent artwork that comically conveys the title character's energy-and her barnyard colleagues' sloth. The little red hen bids a cheerful "Good morning!" to a smiling sun in the luminous opening spread, in which even the garden flowers and fence slats have faces. Kids will gleefully chime in as the lazy animals, rendered realistically at close range, reiterate the familiar "Not I" response to the hen's repeated requests for help. Adding further verve to the spreads, each animal's name appears in a hue that corresponds to its feathers, fur or hide. The fiery heroine pointedly attempts to draft the critters' help by pointing out its defining characteristics (while attempting to draft the dog's aid in planting the seeds, she says, "Surely you will [help].... You are so fond of digging"), making their refusal the more biting. With feathers a-flutter, a determined countenance and straw bonnet tied under her chin, the little red hen cuts quite an appealing figure as she tackles her tasks surrounded by her adorable, fuzzy chicks. She dons a stylish shawl as she sets off-solo-to the mill, where smiling Mr. Miller grounds her grain into flour and presents her with a jar of berry jam. Capturing the contentment of the moment when the little red hen and her brood share the fruits of her labors, the tale's final words are "Oh joy of joys!"-bread and book alike. Ages 4-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A classic is classic; it lasts because it tells a good story. The tale of The Little Red Hen, whom no one will help plant and tend the wheat or bake the bread, has its satisfying conclusion when she and her family sit down to eat the warm bread while the lazy dog, rat, goat, and pig do not. Pinkney tells the tale briskly, in a lively and humorous fashion, with the repetition of the "not I" that so delights young listeners. From her jacket/cover portrait, in beribboned straw hat and colored shawl, where she supports the arch of the title on her outstretched wings, we can tell we are dealing with a resolute fowl. Another full-page portrait as hen strides into the book replaces the title page and a sweeping view of her world crosses the next two pages. Pinkney's graphite, ink, and watercolor illustrations in his usual detailed, naturalistic style, show us a quartet of lazy creatures in contrast to the almost obsessively active hen and her chicks. The type of the tale turns red for the hen, brown for the "short brown dog," gray for the "thin gray rat," darker black for the "tall black goat," and pink for the "round pink pig." Mr. Miller, who grinds the wheat, seems to be a portrait of Pinkney himself joining the story, with his tubes of paint and jars of pens in a corner of the mill. Fun for many sessions of reading and listening with a subtle lesson included. 2006, Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 3 to 7.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-Important lessons of work ethics, initiative, and natural consequence are delivered in the latest addition to what might be considered the "Pinkney classic bookshelf"-a lush, light-filled rendition of a folktale staple. The colorful, feather-full frontispiece features a full-page portrait of the heroine herself, wordlessly inviting children to turn the page with a cunningly crooked wing. You know the story; in this version, the jaunty, straw-hat-wearing Red Hen pops against golden, sun-bleached, full-bleed backgrounds. Her stunning farmyard neighbors dwarf her, emphasizing her stature (both physical and social). But a single mom's got to do what she's got to do to put bread on the table, and so she asks for assistance. She's a smart old bird: she flatters each animal as she appeals to him to use his particular skill (the dog is a fine digger; the rat, a champion chopper; the goat would be great at pulling; and the pig, well, at pigging) to help. Still, she's met with that familiar refrain-"Not I." There's a lot of heart in the details here: Pinkney puts in a self-portrait appearance as hard-working Mr. Miller, and the passage of time is subtly marked by the growth of the hen's five chicks, who begin as balls of yellow fluff and are markedly bigger by story's end. The animal's names appear in color-coded font (red for the hen, brown for the dog, etc.), making it extra-easy even for pre-readers to chime in, and the glorious, generous paintings are a real gift. "Oh joy of joys!"-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this pointed retelling of the familiar tale, Pinkney expands the cast by giving the industrious title bird a bevy of chicks, plus not three but four indolent animal neighbors, all of which are drawn naturalistically and to scale in big, comical farmyard watercolors. The plot follows its usual course: Hen finds the seed, tends and harvests the stand of grain by herself (the artist gives himself a cameo as the kindly miller, who not only grinds the crop, but provides a free jar of berry jam), then bakes an aromatic loaf of bread. The slothful dog, pig, rat and goat are not invited to share. The text too is a bit longer than other versions, maintaining its comfortably predictable structure but with extra detail and comments ("A very busy hen was she!") folded in-perfect, as are the pictures, for sharing with one listener, or a crowd. (Picture book/folktale. 4-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803729353
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/18/2006
Series:
Phyllis Fogelman Bks.
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.77(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"...perfect, as are the pictures, for sharing with one listener, or a crowd." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Cheerful [and] luminous. Kids will gleefully chime in.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A lush light-filled rendition of a folktale staple.”—School Library Journal, starred review

Meet the Author

Jerry Pinkney is one of America's most admired children's book illustrators. He has won the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, five New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Awards, the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the Society of Illustrators' Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award, and many other prizes and honors. Recently a member of the National Council of the Arts and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has also served on the U.S. Postal Service Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Jerry Pinkney lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, in Westchester County, New York.

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