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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
If I were to label my favorite kind of picture book out there, I might feel myself strongly inclined towards something I call Barnyard Frivolity. These are the picture books that take place on an "ordinary" farm and involve all kinds of good-natured looniness. For example, one of my favorite books this year was the upbeat and mighty fun, Manny's Cows: The Niagra Falls Tale by Suzy Becker. This book held a special place in my heart until my pretty little head was turned by the incredibly amusing chicken book I hold in my hands in at this time. I don't know how effective you personally feel that a flock of chickens would be in an emergency, but when it comes to benign fowl-inspired lunacy, I think "Chickens To the Rescue" trumps them all. This is perhaps THE greatest poultry book dreamed by mankind.

On a two page spread sit the deceivingly simple words: "On Monday, Farmer Greenstalk dropped his watch down the well". Poor, Farmer Greenstalk. There he stands, staring mournfully down into a great deep well, a look of sad resignation on his face. The average reader probably wouldn't pay too much attention to the chicken standing on the far left page. Its wing planted firmly where its ear would be, the chicken obviously understands the man's distress. Why do I say that? Because when we turn the page we are bombarded with thirty-one swimsuit-wearing, snorkel-sporting, deepsea-diving chickens under the words, "Chickens to the rescue!". Turn the page and the wet but satisfied birds are walking off while Farmer Greenstalk holds in his hands a damp watch. "Those are some chickens!". Indeed. That was just Monday, though. On Tuesday Mrs. Greenstalk was too tired to make dinner. "Chickens to the rescue!". A scurring flock take over the kitchen, whipping up various concoctions. Yes, whether it's helping son Jeffrey with his homework, stopping an errant duck from driving off with the farmer's truck, or lugging lost sheep back into their pen (my favorite image of the lot), these chickens have each and every situation under control. On Sunday, however, daughter Emily spills her breakfast everywhere and there's not a chicken to be seen. After a quick investigation the family sees that they're taking a well-deserved rest in their coop after all the week's excitement. The pigs on the other hand...

By and large, author/illustrator John Himmelman is an animal man. He's done plenty of non-fiction titles on everything from ladybugs to frogs. As of this writing his top selling book (according to Amazon) was something called Discovering Moths: Nighttime Jewels In Your Own Backyard. What seems to set Himmelman apart from the vast non-fiction writing pack (and here I'm relying heavily on customer reviews) is his humor. By all accounts, Himmelman is a funny guy. A funny guy that has been given a chance to bring us a true labor of love. Now since Himmelman is such an animal advocate, I'm assuming that that is why his chickens look as realistic as they do. Yes, they're wearing helmets, aprons, scuba equipment, etc. But they also look like chickens. Size-appropriate, remarkably helpful chickens. It's obvious from the outset, by the way, that verbal humor is not Himmelman's sole strength. He works enough visual gags and tiny amusing details into this book as to allow your average child-reader hours and hours of fun "I Spy" moments. I may have mentioned that my favorite image from this book is when the chickens rescue the sheep from a nearby woodland. Well let me tell you that there are few sights finer in this world than that of small determined chickens lugging enormous wooly sheep over their heads. Some of the birds even go so far as to lift the sheep into the air, causing one ewe to pretend to be a superhero, hooves held straight out in front. Also, in each rescue sequence there is always at least one chicken flying upside down. The variety of their postures and poses, even when removing a cow from a tree, is to be commended.

I don't want to tell you how to live your life, but I would like to give you a bit of advice on purchasing this book. If you could somehow manage to buy both, Chickens To the Rescue and the incredibly funny, Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road (featuring such artists as Mo Willems, Marla Frazee, Jerry Pinkney, and others), you would instantly be the coolest gift purchaser in the world. I am not kidding. Together, these fowl-related works of literature make up some of the funniest, enjoyable, and inventive books of this or any other year. Chickens To the Rescue is now my favorite fowl book of all time. A must-read for anyone with a sense of humor.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2008
There's not that much to this story. It's very short (and so very appropriate for little-little ones or squeezed-in storytimes!), detailing the misadventures of a farm family all week, and their rescues by the chickens.

The illustrations are hysterical, with the chickens frantically holding up yield signs to stop duck from stealing the truck, with them putting out a trampoline to save cow, with them scolding the dog for eating Jeffrey's homework.

Eventually, they sleep right through a rescue - but they've earned it.

It's very funny, especially if you're sure to yell every time you get to the tagline - CHICKENS! TO! THE RESCUUUUUUUUUUUE!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2007
Bought this book for my three-year old nephew...we loved the simple story and predictable text. Very age appropriate. The adorable illustrations add more to the story and make the book enjoyable by book or chicken lovers of all ages. I highly recommend this picture book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2007
this is why I think Chickens to the rescue should of won the Caldecot medal...

this book is very funny how the chickens go to the rescue and save the day!

each time they go to the rescue its always funny!

you will never get tired of it and it also shows great details in every part of the book

I wouls recamend it for 2+ and it is such a good book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2014
This book just begs to be read aloud. The creative ways the illustrator shows the chickens solving each problem for the Greenstalk family will engage and entertain any young child. I predict this book will be read over and over when a child checks it out from our library. Parents and teachers can also use this book to help children predict how the chickens will "come to the rescue" in each situation. The book has few words so it is particularly good for young children 2-5, but older ones will also be entertained by the various way each chicken helps to solve the dilemma presented to them. I laughed all the way through this book! Bravo, John Hilmmelman!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2011
This is a fabulous book. We checked it out from the local library and after several times of having it checked out decided to add it to our home library. The kids love it and so do we as parents. It is funny, well written, and nicely illustrated. The kids still request it and we have been reading it for a couple years now. Excellent for both our 2 year old and 5 year old. Short enough to keep the younger one's attention and interesting enough to not bore the older one. I definitely recommend this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2008
Had this book before for my kids, now want it for my grandson. It came in fine shape, but the cover was on upside down. I sent a letter explaining the problem, and a new one was sent to me. I am new to Amazon, and so far, like doing business with them.
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on May 12, 2013
My 3 1/2 year old son picked this book out during a trip to the library with his grandma. That night, I brought the pile of library books into his room to read before bed, and he rifled through them until we came to this book, which he insisted we read first. I had no idea what the book was about, and thus the absurd humor tickled me perhaps more poignantly than it would have had I expected it. I laughed out loud, hard, for a long time, every couple of pages or so during the reading. My son laughed pretty heartily, too, but I'm not sure if it's because he thought the book was really THAT funny, or if my laughter was contagious.

The story runs the risk of getting repetitive after multiple reads (but which story doesn't?) However, the repeated refrain "Chickens to the rescue!" is too silly to not enjoy each and every time. My son and I say it out loud, loudly, "Chickeeens to the resss-cue!" Also, the pictures that accompany each rescue attempt add to the humor and are fun to pour over.

It's not a serious book, or a very educational book, and it's certainly not scientifically accurate... but it makes story time a LOT of fun. I would recommend it for kids aged 0-6. Because it's so short and fun to read, it would probably be especially good for kids who don't have the attention span for much reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2007
I think chickens to the rescue should have won because it was funny and was fun to read about chickens saveing the day. i think 2+ could read this book.
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on May 29, 2007
I lead storytime programs for our local library and do outreach to area nursery schools. I just read this book last week and have nothing but raves for it. Not only is the story successful, the illustrations draw the listener in and provide ample opportunity for comments and laughs. The author also uses the days to sequence the action, which was good reinforcement for learning the days. On Monday..., "what day comes next after Monday?"..., etc. The final page, as someone already mentioned, shows an illustration of pigs, leading readers/listeners to predict what will happen next. Be prepared for the almost immediate "Pigs to the rescue!".

An A+ book, it has become one of my faves.
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