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THE LITTLE RED HEN by Jerry Pinkney Kirkus Star


by Jerry Pinkney & illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8037-2935-9
Publisher: Dial

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)