Panicky Henny-Penny and her fine fearful feathered friends are all in a dither. The sky is falling and they must tell the king! In this hilarious, pun-packed adaptation of the classic tale, Jane Wattenberg updates the text with rockin' rollin' rhythm and hip-hoppin' panache: "'What's buzzin', cousins?' breezed Ducky-Lucky and Drake-Cake." "'Why the scowl, fowl?' gobbled Turkey-Lurkey." "'What's clickin', chicken?' pauwk, pauwked Cocky-Locky." Foxy-Loxy, that cunning cad, that greedy grunge, that skanky prankster, leads the flighty flock straight into his evil lunch room, and that's the end of that for all except Henny-Penny, who squawks: "Chicka-chicka-bunga! I forgot to lay my egg today!" and runs lickety-split home again.
Wattenberg's fantastic photo-compositions feature her very own friendly fowls, as well as some clever non sequiturs of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Stonehenge, and the Egyptian pyramids, among other international landmarks. She is the creator of the bestselling board books Mrs. Mustard's Baby Faces and Mrs. Mustard's Beastly Babies. We can only hope her future plans for picture books don't run a-fowl, because this one is farm-fresh. (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-This is a hip, updated version of the old folktale. The colorful photo-collage art places Henny-Penny in locations around the world from Stonehenge to the Egyptian pyramids to the Taj Mahal as she leads her friends to seek the king. The expressive language, the design, the typeface, and the artwork all enhance the frantic pace and modern mood of the story. "'SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROLL! THE SKY IS FALLING! IT'S COMING ON DOWN! Henny-Penny saw it and heard it and it SMACKED her on her fine red comb." The barn fowl in the photos always appear to be a bit puzzled while their physical attitudes show them strutting, pondering, and consulting maps. The fox couldn't appear wilier as he lures the group to his den, which has a welcome mat at the entrance. While her friends are being devoured in "FOXY-LOXY's LUNCH ROOM"-complete with take-out signage-the flaky hen, hearing Cocky-Locky's crow, remembers "CHICKA-CHICKA-BUNGA! I FORGOT TO LAY MY EGG TODAY!" and runs home, unharmed. This book is a hoot! It has surefire appeal, especially to reluctant readers. At the same time, the clever and sophisticated presentation will appeal to more advanced readers.Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL
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