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Chicken Scratches: Poultry Poetry and Rooster Rhymes Hardcover – March 3, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—This attractive volume features 16 wacky rhyming verses. The somewhat irreverent poems include odes to imagined daily lives of opera-singing and sumo-wrestling chickens to complex egg laying and eating. ("The day the rooster had the flu/he could not cock-a-doodle-do….They called a doctor to the coop,/who brought a bowl of chicken soup./'Drink up,' he said. 'It's good for you./I promise it's no one you knew.'") Rendered in pen and colored digitally, the simple yet expressive cartoon illustrations really bring out the fun of the poetry. The book features a nice variety of rhyme and rhythm including limericks, couplets, and quatrains. Charmingly designed with a tactile cover and clever endpapers, this could be a bright addition to poetry collections.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Both punny and snappy, an apt addition to National Poetry Month.

Charmingly designed with a tactile cover and clever endpapers, this could be a bright addition to poetry collections.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (March 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811866483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811866484
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,526,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It feels as though I have always been wrapped in stories and books. My parents read to me, and I in turn read to younger brothers. Family economics meant we couldn't own many books, but going to the library was as common as going to the market. I still have the books I received as gifts. They include two "Little Golden Books" that were savored in childhood, and have served as talisman ever since. THE BUNNY BOOK by Patsy and Richard Scarry (1955) and RABBIT AND HIS FRIENDS by Richard Scarry (1953).

Like all children I created stories as part of play. And, like some children, I was soon identified as one who "days dreams too much." I began writing stories when they were given as assignments in elementary school. By seventh grade I was writing even when there was no assignment. My dream of making books became so vivid, I submitted my first "formal" picture book manuscript to a publisher when I was sixteen. Eleven more years of school, work, reading, writing and luck finally brought about LIZARD'S SONG, my first children's book to be accepted.

Looking back, it seems especially appropriate that LIZARD'S SONG was my first book. Even though I had been writing for years, I always felt everyone else's life held better ideas for stories than mine did. I thought there was nothing about me that was interesting enough to make a good story. But I finally learned what Lizard teaches Bear. My best stories come when I tell or sing about what makes my home. What I love. What I fear. Things that have happened to me, and things I hope will happen. Things I like about me. Things I dislike about me. Things I understand, and things that still confuse me. So even though I am not a lizard, squirrel, chicken or rabbit, when you read my books you'll find little bits of what my heart calls home.

Picture books have been my professional focus now for 40 years. Reading them. Writing them. Sharing them with children. Teaching workshops and classes on writing them. Oh yes, and buying them. Lots of them. And now, blogging about them, and helping other writers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Hall on June 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My son (5) loves poetry, from Stevenson to Silverstein. From the description, this sounded like a collection of poems similar to Silverstein. I thought it would be fun to buy and read to my son while it was on sale. The formatting for kindle is nice, and the pictures are fun, but the poetry is not that great, and there are only about 15 poems. I wasn't impressed when I read through them on my own, and I wasn't sure my son would even "get" most of them, but it says K-3rd grade, and he often appreciates things I don't expect, so I read them to him. He found two or three funny, but that was about it. The poem in the item discription is probably one of the best in there, if that gives you any idea.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lynn Brunelle and George Shannon, <strong>Chicken Scratches: Poultry Poetry and Rooster Rhymes</strong> (Chronicle Books, 2010)

Chicken-related silliness for the preschool set that is, for the most part, good stuff. Every once in a while, the poetry derails itself something fierce:

"We chickens are a time trip,
we're visions from the past--
we're living, breathing relatives
of creatures long, long past."
("Time Traveler")

(Good if you're teaching repetition, but not so at all if you're teaching poetry; there are few things more annoying to a poet's ear than the laziness of using repetition in place of rhyme.)

...but if you're willing to pick and choose what you relate to the kids you'll be reading this to, there's some fun stuff here, some of which is just scurrilous enough to appeal to the rowdier elements in kids' natures, and some of which is straight-up educational. Pick it up from the library and give it a look before deciding whether you want to add it to your permanent collection. ***
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 2nd grade students really enjoy this book ... what a great way to introduce poetry to them. An added bonus is that it is an Accelerate Reader book so they can take an AR quiz once they have finished reading it!
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By Jaime Weilacher on April 28, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
These poems are adorable and funny. Not for serious poetry lovers, but they're poems about chickens!! Who are we kidding?! Casual and fun. I found it in real life, hardback and I'm glad I did.
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