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The Chicken Thief (Stories Without Words) Hardcover – May 1, 2010

21 customer reviews

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Hardcover, May 1, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1–The book opens with a group of animals waking up to a beautiful morning in their small house in the woods. But is that a fox lurking in the bushes? And does he have his eyes on a pretty white chicken? It is, and he does. The chase scenes that follow show a bear, rabbit, and rooster in tireless pursuit of the speedy fox with the chicken held tight in his arms. They go from the forest through the mountains until finally they reach the sea. The story closes with a surprise that kids will love. The pages are wide but not at all high, and the spreads have no white space. This layout is a great showcase for the wonderful paintings, which are full of movement, drama, and a quietly goofy form of comedy. The colors and sense of light are lovely, especially when the clear green of the forest sets off the orange fox and his little captive. A delightful wordless story.Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Touched with wit and whimsy, this wordless picture book offers an entertaining take on the familiar fox-and-chicken story. After a fox snatches a chicken, the bird's horrified friends—a bear, rabbit, and rooster—immediately set off in pursuit. Their rescue effort takes them through a forest, up a mountain, over a sea, and from day through night. When the exhausted trio finally arrives at the fox's burrow, though, an unexpected, surprisingly sweet scenario awaits. Delightful ink-and-wash artwork follows the winsome animals from countryesque cottages to deep-hued night forests to bright, sunny shores. Rodriguez shifts the mood from the comic, when fox and chicken enjoy a candlelit game of chess in an inner-mountain cave, to the affectionate, and the small details invite close viewing. Taken together, the scenes in this enjoyable tale send appealing messages about the pitfalls of assumptions and the pleasure of unexpected friendship. Preschool-Grade 2. --Shelle Rosenfeld

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Stories Without Words
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592700926
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592700929
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 10.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Béatrice Rodriguez was born in 1969 and received her degree from the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg. Today she is a successful and prolific illustrator, creating children's books as well as illustrations and cartoons for the press. She lives in France. She is the author of The Chicken Thief, one of the widely acclaimed and strongly-supported best books of 2010.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
here have always been wordless picture books on the market, but I have never really understood their appeal. I like the words in a story. I find it soothing to know exactly what to say for each picture, and the comfort of having that cue to turn the page. I'm the narrator for a wordless book? Mmm ... what if I'm not saying the right things? Many times I don't feel terribly imaginative and prefer to just coast along on the creativity of others.

When Enchanted Lion came out with The Chicken Thief, I had barely glanced at the cover illustration and immediately knew it was a book I wanted to read. A fox sprinting along with a chicken tucked tightly under his arm? Yeah, I'm going to need to know exactly what that fox has in mind. It wasn't until I took a closer look that I realized the description read "In this wordless story that is both funny and sweet ..." Grrr. I would have dismissed the whole idea, except that Enchanted Lion has a habit of putting out terribly good books. Maybe I could be persuaded to give wordless a try just this once ...

A handful of friends are enjoying a sunny day at their cottage, when a fox leaps from the bushes and swoops up unsuspecting Hen. Clamping her beak shut with one paw, he dashes into the forest. Bear, Rabbit and Rooster give chase, with angry scowls on their faces. Although the trio is is determined, they soon become fatigued, hardly able to keep up. Even Hen (who hasn't exerted one bit of energy) is nestled into Fox's arms, fast asleep. The other animals follow Hen's lead and find perches in trees to break for night-time, taking chase again in the morning.

In the morning, the animals are up and running, with scowls square on their faces. Fox knows his territory well, and leads the others on a merry chase.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pam - mom-ish since 2000 TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Cute... and Yet Somehow Disturbing

On the face of it this is an adorable wordless book. It starts out with a group of friends setting up a table so they can enjoy a nosh together. Then out of the woods runs Fox, who scoops up Chicken and takes off. Chicken's friends -- Rooster, Bunny, and Bear -- take off after her and after a long, funny journey, they finally catch up with the pair and find out that Fox and Chicken have come to like one another quite a bit.

The disturbing part is the abduction. Kids probably won't think "Stockholm Effect", but that's what my mind conjured up.

I think how you view the book will have a lot to do with how happy you are with it. If the abduction bothers you, skip it.

Otherwise, this is a cute book for younger children. Besides the interesting race to catch the wily Fox, there are some amusing moments shown, like when Bunny is trying to yank Bear out of a tunnel where he's gotten himself stuck.

Pam T~
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Are the Europeans better than we Yanks are at wordless picture books? Or are they just less afraid to publish them? Remember that when someone like David Wiesner publishes a wordless picture book, like "Flotsam", he gets showered in big shiny gold medals. Generally speaking, however, wordless picture books aren't as common as all that in the American marketplace. Plus, to make a book without words and only pictures requires a deep and abiding knowledge of visual storytelling. And since America is still slow to grasp the implications behind graphic novels and panel-related story fare, the Europeans plunge onward, producing books like Beatrice Rodriguez's charming and very French "The Chicken Thief". An epic cross-country chase, this book reads like "The Bremen Town Musicians" meets "The Fugitive".

On a beautiful day a rabbit, fox, rooster, hens, and chicks all wake up to start the day. Unbeknownst to them, a hungry fox is lying in wait. Then, when no one expects it, he grabs the white chicken in his paws and the race is on. Rooster, bear, and rabbit pursue the two through woods, over mountains, and across a wide sea. When at last the three confront the fox in its own home, the hen rushes to his defense and explains that the two have fallen in love. Everyone settles down for a nice bit of soup and the next day the three set off, waving goodbye to the fox and his new fowl love.

There is a bit of Stockholm Syndrome to the story, granted.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The Chicken Thief" is the latest release in a series of wordless books for children published by Enchanted Lion. Told in a series of detailed, full page illustrated paintings in delicate colors of apricot, brown, white and green, "The Chicken Thief" will enthrall young readers with its tale told in exciting pictures from start to finish. Observers must pay close attention, for the story has more than a few unexpected plot twists and surprises, and the careful viewer may unearth more delight from closer scrutiny of the enchanting paintings. Suitable for ages 4-8, "The Chicken Thief" presents a hidden moral in a surprising reinterpretation of an older fairy tale.
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