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Big Chickens Paperback – January 31, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1–Helakoski gives a new twist to the old story about a henhouse and a furry predator in this funny story. These four suggestible hens are chicken in more ways than one. When they first spy a wolf, they run off to hide in the woods, but are soon frightened by a ditch, and then by a peaceful-looking group of cows, and on and on, until they end up in a cave, where an encounter with actual danger leaves them feeling brave for the first time. Bright pictures convey the comic events with an exaggerated style just right for the story line. Theres a satisfying amount of silliness that will leave children giggling at the panic-stricken fowl and the chaos they produce wherever they go. Predictable patterns in the language and in the narrative structure add appeal as well. As fluffy as the hens tail feathers, this selection will be an enjoyable read-aloud for kids on a lap or in a group.–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Four "cautious, careful" chickens conquer their fears in this lighthearted tale. After spotting a wolf in the barnyard, the birds flee their coop, and then are afraid to return home. Everything scares them--a muddy ditch, a pasture filled with cows, a lake. But they persevere and manage each obstacle--until they arrive, "dirty, dusty, dripping, [and] dazed," at a cave, where they stumble upon the wolf who set off the chain of events. The surprise? This time, it's the wolf that flees, and the triumphant chickens swagger back home with newfound confidence. Helakoski bolsters the slim story with infectious repetition and rhyme that will encourage young listeners to chant along. Cole exaggerates the chickens' bug-eyed terror and smug triumph in expressive, full-page ink-and-watercolor pictures that are sure to provoke giggles, and children will delight in the powerful role reversal as the timid chickens realize that bullies aren't always what they seem and that the scariest fears can be overcome. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 0430 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (January 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142410578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142410578
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Woodford on July 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is just delightful for an adult and for children of a wide age-range. It is great for beginnning literacy skills with repetitive phonology, use of contrasting concepts, and interesting descriptive vocabulary along with a great ending showing how teamwork can make everyone a success. This is one book I will use over and over in my preschool language development groups.
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What a delightful story!
As a group of chickens go on adventures to face their fears of the ever-looming wolf, they surprisingly find courage and "guts" to face their fears on adventures of their own. My 4 year old grandchild loves this story! The book has a great story line, rhyming, and repetition. As a loving grandparent and Reading Specialist, this book gets top reviews on my list!
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A Kid's Review on January 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is why I think this book should have won the Caldecott medal......

Because it is very funny how the chickens are really scared at first and then they accidentally end up doing adventurous things and they keep on doing them and they conquer their fears.
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I don't think there are any too many picture books with a sense of humor in the story line. This dates from about 2008, has big gaudy pictures, invites expressive reading and had us all laughing out loud !
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Format: Hardcover
I have purchased both of Leslie Helakoski's books. I have found each to be a delightful children's story with a clever message tucked lovingly between the pages. She is truly gifted in her efforts to "teach" children through the art of story - as so often our efforts as teacher/parents, etc. get filtered out.

Each book offers the child the opportunity to read and discover something about themself (i.e. courage..."The Big Chickens" or a fun with mathematics "The Smushy Bus"). But her books also allow the delicious opportunity to share the reading within the intimacy of parent-child, teacher-student, sibling-sibling and enjoy the noticing of each clever phrase, each well-chosen word to more fully take in the entire experience of her books.

Much applause to Ms. Helakoski for her gift not only to chilren but her gift to the legacy of books.
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Format: Paperback
Best. Children's. Book. EVAH!!! I have read this to my 3 kids in their classes at school; from Pre-K up to 5th grade. It's so cute and funny even 5th grade boys enjoy it! I've ordered a second copy because we lost our first **sniff sniff** and it's THAT much of a must-have. First children's book I've ever re-purchased.
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I bought this for my three and a half year old granddaughter. She loves the story. The story also has a good learning experience written within the story. Pictures are done very well. This book is one her favorites.
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Format: Paperback
Upon seeing a wolf by the chicken coop, four chickens are too scared to return to their coop. Little do they realize how "dangerous and scary" their adventure is going to be! As they come upon different situations: deep ditch, cows, lake, cave etc., one chicken always says she is scared and the others go "Ohh... Me two. Me three. Me four." Of course they end up falling in or into what they are scared of and hilarious consequences occur.

Who is in the cave? The wolf! What will happen? Will the chickens be scared again or will it be the wolf?

Hilarious, well-written and illustrated book with a great ending. One of our favorites from the library.
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