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Chicken Big Hardcover – August 18, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811872378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811872379
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2–The pint-size poultry are as brainless as ever in this quirky revision of the classic “Chicken Little” tale, but the hero here is mysterious Chicken Big. Is he an elephant? The smaller chickens are sure that he could not be one of them and exclude him from the coop. When an acorn falls on the smallest one's head, she thinks the sky is falling. But when clear-headed Chicken Big explains what it is and pops it into his mouth, the other chickens decide that he must really be a squirrel. Chicken Big's unwilling companions arrive at one ridiculous conclusion after another. He protects them from the rain, so he could be an umbrella. He keeps them warm in a cold breeze, so he could be a sweater. When all the eggs go missing and Chicken Big saves the day, the others realize that “only one thing could be so smart, so kind, so warm, and so brave.” (A chicken, of course.) Graves's pastel-hued illustrations with comic-style panels have a spontaneous and quirky quality reminiscent of Mo Willems's Pigeon and Leonardo books, and thoughtful design plays up the disproportionate size of Chicken Big. An amusing tale that will draw giggles from preschool and early elementary read-aloud audiences, this is a fun addition to any collection or comparative folklore unit.Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In a sort of mash-up of “Chicken Little” and “Blind Men and the Elephant,” henhouse residents are set aflutter by the arrival of an enormous new hatchling. What is it? An elephant, opines the smallest chicken. But when that same hen (“not the sharpest beak in the flock”) is hit in succession by an acorn (“The sky is falling!”), a drop of rain (“The sky is leaking!”), and a cold breeze (“Someone has put the world in the refrigerator! We’re all going to freeze!”), the monster provides both common sense and protective bulk—and in return is identified as a squirrel, then an umbrella, then a sweater. Graves illustrates this crowd-pleaser with simple cartoon scenes in which the new chick looms hugely, rolling its eyes at the antics of a quartet of scraggly, pop-eyed, appropriately silly-looking poultry. In a satisfying resolution, the chick dashes off heroically to rescue a clutch of stolen eggs from a marauding fox, earning proper recognition, acceptance—and, most likely, loud requests for repeat readings from delighted audiences. Grades 1-3. --John Peters

More About the Author

Keith Graves grew up long ago in a strange, humid land called New Orleans. And if you don't think it really is a strange place, then you haven't been there for Mardi Gras.
He is the author and illustrator of a bunch of nutty books for children including Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, Chicken Big, and Three Nasty Gnarlies.
Keith lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Nancy and twins Max and Emma. His website is keithgravesart.com.

Customer Reviews

It's humorous, has a cute story line and creative colorful illustrations.
R.C.
It starts off, "On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, humongous egg...out popped a big, humongous chick."
ddcute
We read this out loud together and laughed and laughed, finished it and turned back to the beginning to read it over again.
weslyn hoekstra

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gaby at Starting Fresh blog VINE VOICE on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Reading Chicken Big aloud, you start to enjoy the sound of the words: teeny, itty-bitty, humongous, clucked, enormous, squawked, conked, peeped, splatted, hippopotamus, stomping, teensy-weensy.

It's easy to see how a child hearing and learning the words would get into the rhythm of the book and be captivated by the illustrations of the large, funny looking chick that somehow saves the day. You don't have to be familiar with the story of Chicken Little to appreciate Chicken Big, but a kid who knows the earlier story will surely find Chicken Big particularly fun.

Great sounds, engaging pictures, and a story about friendship and fitting in -- I highly recommend Chicken Big.

Reading level 4 to 8.
ISBN-10: 0811872378 - Hardcover $16.99
Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 18, 2010), 40 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ddcute on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"More pees!" More pees!" my two year asks. The first day we had this book I think daddy read it like five times before our kiddo allowed him to put it down. I thought my little guy would be a bit young for this book but I was terribly wrong. He loves it. He loves it so much he's requested it to be read almost every day for over a month.

Chicken Big is a fabulously fun retake on the Chicken Little tale. The illustrations are reminiscent of a comic strip with word bubbles popping up here and there animating these crazy little chickens. It starts off, "On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, humongous egg...out popped a big, humongous chick." However, the little chickens couldn't figure out what on earth this humongous thing could be and wouldn't allow him in their coop. Throughout their sad attempts in figuring out what he was (an elephant, squirrel, umbrella, etc.) and fear and frantic reaction to things like acorns dropping, rain and wind, he managed to shelter, protect and enlighten them. At the end of the tale, the big humongous chick saves the day and the nutty little chickens realize that, "Only one thing could be so smart, so kind, so warm, and so brave..."

There are numerous lessons you can pull from this delightful book; not judging someone by how they look, empathy, character, life cycle of a chicken, weather, seasons and science, etc. This would be a great present for kids 2-8 yrs old (probably closer to 4-8 but my 2 year old LOVES this story). It's a fantastic fun read-a-loud and one of my kiddo's new favorites.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cortney Heimerl on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Keith Graves may have won the title of my new favorite children's author with this book, Chicken Big. It is a tale of crowd mentality and mistaken identity in an itty-bitty chicken coop on a teeny little farm. The story begins with an enormous egg that begins to hatch. With the many chicken opinions clucking around the flock, an unfortunately large chick becomes an outcast as they attempt to figure out what exactly he is because he is obviously too big to be a chicken! The flock is comprised of ridiculously opinionated characters and as the giant chicken continues to save them time after time, their guess of what he could be changes from an elephant to a sweater in a hilarious spiral.

The illustrations are beautifully hand-drawn with a loose, comic book design complete with exclamatory bubbles exclaimed by the chickens - RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! Basically, this book is fun to look at, fun to read and a funny, lovely story for anyone with an affinity for a fantastically odd parable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BrianaCreates on September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book stood the test of a group of children ages 3, 4, and 5. They laughed, they called out "No!" at the silly questions in the story line, and they felt empathy for the big, humongous chick. This book has it all: a great plot, elements of education, silliness, and lessons in cooperation and empathy. It is a terrific read aloud and helps young children (ages 4-8) learn about the life cycle of a chicken. The child in your life will love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book in hand at all times on January 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My son really enjoyed this book in print, so I could not resist when this book was offered for the Kindle at a discounted price for a limited time around Xmas. The sory is about a hen that lays an egg which contains an Enormous and very smart chicken. Through a variety of experiences this chicken sets all the other chickens straight when they rush to nonsense. I can see reading it multiple times and am glad to have it on the Kindle.
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Format: Hardcover
Keith Graves' "Chicken Big" is a retelling of the "Chicken Little" story in a completely different way. Set on a "teeny little farm in an itty-bitty coop," a chicken lays a huge egg that unleashes the biggest chick that the three chickens and rooster have ever seen. The chick is so big that the coop declares him (or her) an elephant.

Needless to say, he's ousted from the coop.

As the smallest chicken is struck by an acorn, splattered by a raindrop and shaken by a chilly wind (the result of bad karma, no doubt), her paranoia gets the best of the adults until the big chick uses his large physique and brain to calm everyone down. But, once the chickens are relaxed again, they can't help but reclassify the big chick as something else (squirrel, umbrella, sweater). It's not until there's an actual threat(the fox steals the eggs) and the big chick saves the day that he's finally declared a chicken through his intelligence, kindness, warmth and bravery (interestingly all the things that the chickens lack).

"Chicken Big" brings back the spirit of Chicken Little, but reverses the roles of the characters. Instead of the young chick spreading paranoia among the elders, Keith Graves' chick is wiser and stronger than the adult chickens and has to defuse that paranoia himself. This role reversal is something my nephew absolutely loved. Often, during the reading, he liked to remind me on how stupid the adult chickens were.

But that's what made the book fun - the absurdity of the chickens' logic, especially the smallest chicken.

Unfortunately, the other chickens (and the rooster) paled against the smallest chicken's character. Their dialogue tended to sound the same, raising the question on why all of them were needed.
Read more ›
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