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Elinor and Violet : The Story of Two Naughty Chickens Hardcover – April 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Elinor barely qualifies as a naughty chicken. "She wrote on the walls--but in tiny, tiny letters.... Sometimes, she sang bad words softly under her breath in the bathroom." In the bright gouaches, Elinor frolics in flowered jumpers against gaily patterned wallpaper, and her faults seem trivial. This changes when another mischievous cluck, Violet, comes to the neighborhood for a weeklong visit. " `You don't have to go when your mother calls you,' said Violet. `Just don't answer....' Elinor spent more and more time in the time-out corner." The trouble peaks when the girls turn an adult's purse into "buried treasure" and must own up to their crime. In her debut as an author-illustrator, Murphy (Day Care Days) resolves the issue with generous forgiveness and maintains the girls' friendship. The potential for misbehavior remains; when the humbled Violet departs (with a promise to return next summer), Elinor affectionately clasps her friend's address and sleeps under a sign reading "Violet rules!" If the text shows a shrewd understanding of peer pressure, the pictures are not so sensitive. Violet, the disagreeable outsider, is an eggshell-brown chicken, in contrast to snowy-white Elinor and her matching family. Murphy slightly rectifies the color-coding with the appearance of Elinor's chestnut-hued aunt, yet racial implications could have been avoided altogether. More effective is the presentation of how minor misdeeds have harmful, or at least embarrassing, consequences. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-Elinor is a chicken who enjoys being "just a little bit naughty." When Violet, who comes to visit her grandmother for a week, turns out to be even naughtier, the two become fast friends and cause all kinds of trouble for their families. As a result, "Elinor spent more and more time in the time-out corner," and their mischief nearly ruins an outing with Elinor's favorite Aunt Lucy. Fortunately, all is well in the end and her aunt commiserates by saying, "everyone's naughty sometimes." Their pranks include putting a tack on a chair, leaving the water running in the tub until it runs out the door, and defacing pictures in a photo album. When Violet goes home, Elinor's mother breathes a sigh of relief and says, "I must say I'm glad that's over." Readers will join Elinor in her secret smile knowing that Violet will be back. While the bright and lively gouache-on-watercolor-paper illustrations are wonderful, conveying both the naughty and contrite moments well, there are no real consequences to the bad behavior and the story almost seems to condone it.

Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: 3 - 5
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316910880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316910880
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,833,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Bridgeland on August 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My twin daughters (fraternal, age 3.5) don't like all books, and often they disagree, one liking something that the other dislikes. They agree on this one: it is a winner. One daughter enjoys the chickens being naughty. The other likes the small morality tale. And they both like explaining all the antics the chickens do, including running the water in the bathtub until it flows down the stairs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Wierzbanowski on February 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I checked this book out because of the cute cover page. As I read it to my 2 and three year old I began to realize that this book simply encourages children to lie to adults, not listen to their moms,steal things and shout "bad words". HELLO as if my job as a parent isn't hard enough. Don't get me wrong, I'm not strict and I was a naughty kid but no one ever wrote a book celebrating my naughtiness. What is up with this book?
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Format: Hardcover
My 4 year old daughter picked this out at the library. It had 2 cute chickens on the front so I didn't even think twice about getting it. The next day we sat down to read it & we didn't even get past the 3rd page. Why would I fill my little girl's head with ideas about naughty things that she could do? Adults and maybe even teens who already know right from wrong can see the story for what it is, but little kids don't have a moral compass yet. We, as parents, spend endless hours trying to teach them to make good choices, to treat other people with respect, to obey their parents/teachers, etc. Why would someone write a book like this for a young audience? This is exactly what is wrong with our country & the entitlement generation we've created. When you erase absolute truth & make morality subjective, you destroy people's sense of fairness, respect, politeness & most of all right & wrong. We get 50 books every 3 weeks from our local library. After 3 years, this is the only one that I can honestly say left me speechless after just 3 pages.
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