Interrupting Chicken

PreS-Gr 2—It's bedtime for little red chicken, but she is more interested in saving the characters in the fairy tales that Papa is reading than in relaxing and going to sleep in this picture book (Candlewick, 2010) by David Ezra Stein. As Papa reads, Little Chicken can't help interrupting the stories to warn Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood of impending dangers, and to reassure Chicken Little that a falling acorn is not the end of the world. Thus, she ends each story prematurely, until Papa runs out of tales, and suggests that Little Chicken tell him a story. Ironically, her story succeeds in putting Papa to sleep, and ends this tale. Andrew Watts does a good job of differentiating between Papa's mellow voice, Little Chicken's lighter interjections, and the screechy witch's and the gruff wolf's voices. Page-turn signals are optional. Stein's humorous, vivid illustrations contrast the classic tales with the ongoing story—so be sure to have the book available. Youngsters will want to hear this story again and again.—MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NY

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