BIG CHICKENS by Leslie Helakoski
Kirkus Star

BIG CHICKENS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

With wordplay reminiscent of Margie Palatini at her best, Helakoski takes four timorous chickens into, then out of, the literal and figurative woods. Fleeing the henhouse after catching sight of a wolf, the pusillanimous pullets come to a deep ditch: “ ‘What if we can’t jump that far?’ ‘What if we fall in the ditch?’ ‘What if we get sucked into the mud?’ The chickens tutted, putted, and flutted. They butted into themselves and each other, until one by one . . . ” they do fall in. But then they pick themselves up and struggle out. Ensuing encounters with cows and a lake furnish similar responses and outcomes; ultimately they tumble into the wolf’s very cave, where they “picked, pecked, and pocked. They ruffled, puffled, and shuffled. They shrieked, squeaked, and freaked, until . . . ” their nemesis scampers away in panic. Fluttering about in pop-eyed terror, the portly, partly clothed hens make comical figures in Cole’s sunny cartoons (as does the flummoxed wolf)—but the genuine triumph in their final strut—“ ‘I am a big, brave chicken,’ said one chicken. ‘Ohh . . . ’ said the others. ‘Me too.’ ‘Me three.’ ‘Me four’ ”—brings this tribute to chicken power to a rousing close. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-525-47575-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2005




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