Monday, January 31, 2011

Interrupting Chicken

Booklist (September 15, 2010 (Vol. 107, No. 2))
Preschool-Grade 3. At bedtime, Papa prepares to read an old favorite to the little red chicken, but before beginning, he reminds her not to interrupt the story. Reassured, he begins “Hansel and Gretel,” but just as the two children approach the witch’s house, up pops the little red chicken, exclaiming “‘DON’T GO IN! SHE’S A WITCH!’ . . . THE END!” Two more attempted bedtime stories end abruptly with the little red chicken saving Little Red Riding Hood and Chicken Little. The childlike humor of this wonderfully illustrated picture book will bring belly laughs from kids, particularly those who know the original stories. Stein uses page turns dramatically to build tension, which is released each time the chicken interrupts and amends a fairy tale. Differences in medium and style differentiate between scenes taking place in the folktales and in the main story. Created with watercolor, water-soluble crayon, and pen and ink, the illustrations are vivid and dramatic. Great fun for reading aloud.

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