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The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) Paperback – November 11, 2002

52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"This retelling of The Little Red Hen exudes charm, thanks to conversational narration and delightful cut paper images," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-A funky rendition of the classic tale. Hen, having decided to make a pizza, discovers that she lacks certain necessities, such as a proper pan. "`Cluck,' she said. `I need a pizza pan.'" When she asks her neighbors to help her out, she gets the expected response: "Not I," said the duck donning her swim cap and tube. "Not I," said the dog wearing a box of dog biscuits and a party hat. "Not I," said the hep blue cat playing the saxophone. So off the Little Red Hen goes to the store to buy the things she needs-along with others she surely does not need, such as a guide to sink installation. When she finally gets her pizza made, the three unaccommodating friends change their tune. The plot takes two nifty twists at the end-and this Little Red Hen is not quite as punitive as in the original story. There's a keen sense of the absurd here, and the hilarious cut-paper illustrations are right in tune with the zany plot. This version can be pored over again and again as much can escape the eye the first time around. It is aimed at an older audience than Alan Garner's The Little Red Hen (DK Ink, 1997). Children who appreciate the humor of Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Viking, 1989) will fall under this book's spell as well. Destined to be quite the crowd pleaser.
Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (November 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142301892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142301890
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philemon has had a strong appetite for books since he was a boy. He loves to read books and poetry aloud in his booming voice. The father of three grown daughters, Philemon enjoys visiting schools and writing for a young audience. "Everything is new to kids," says Philemon. "it is an honor to introduce them to things -- plus, it's fun!"

A former award-winning architect, Philemon now uses his vision to create books rather than buildings. Philemon had his first book published in 1995 and has published at least a book a year since then. He typically likes to work on two or three new story ideas at a time.

As a boy, Philemon spent many summers at his grandpa's house in Bristol, Rhode Island, where he fell in love with boats and the sea. After a four-year Navy stint in Japan, he moved back to Rhode Island. When he wasn't working on the development of downtown Providence, the waterfront of Newport, or the boat basin on Nantucket, he spent his time sailing, clamming, and riding the waves in his dory, the Dawn Treader. He even spent a year living on an old ferryboat moored in Providence Harbor.

Currently, Philemon splits his time between the city and the country. He can be found at home in the heart of Boston's South End (in a brownstone he redesigned) or out in the charming country town of Princeton, Massachusetts. He lives with his wife, Judy Sue, and his two dogs, Rufina and Giotto. Wherever he is, Philemon enjoys cooking and eating and spending time with friends. (Rufina and Giotto love his leftovers!)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on July 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to a student during some volunteer work. While I liked the way the classic story had been made more urban in order to be more associational for many readers, I was disappointed in two places.
The first is a little trivial, when the Hen needs cheese, it mentions all the cheese she has, including string cheese, but no mozzarella. Unfortunately, string cheese is mozzarella.
But my real problem is that the original moral of the story, that the lazy animals do not benefit from the Hen's hard work. Instead they all get some pizza and are guilt-tripped into helping clean up.
While I can accept the change in scenery (and pizza instead of bread), I have a hard time accepting that the moral has been changed.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I checked this out of the library thinking it would be an update of the classic tale. I loved the colorful illustrations and my daughter did enjoy the book. However, I had been expecting the typical story -- where those that didn't participate in helping didn't get to share the product. I was surprised that after all the rounds of "not I" the other animals did eat the pizza. I'm not sure what the moral is supposed to be, or if it is one that I want for my daughter. Sure, I would like her to be generous and share, so if she models herself after the hen, great. But I don't want her to mimic the other animals attitudes toward helping out. The others do help with the dishes at the end, but still.... you just need to be aware of the change before you bring the book home.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By cassandraandvixen on October 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I received this book in the mail from a club by accident and kept it because my just-turned 3 year old and I enjoyed it so much. Children really enjoy repetitions (the cat, dog and duck constantly say "Not I." to pleas for help from the red hen. And then there are the numerous mentions about pickled eggplant which have become a joke in our house.) in this book, and it excites my daughter to "read" the next page before I do. It enforces a nice theme of helping each other and the pictures are wonderful. I intend to give it as a gift to several friends!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read The Little Red Hen to my first grade students after my 4 year old came home from school reciting it. When I found this book, I read it to my class and they loved it. I was able to use a venn diagram to compare the two stories. It is a very cute book and the end surpised them!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judi Ayers on June 12, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, this is a take on a classic story with a twist. I have taught preschool for 36 years and I really do not agree with the people that posted that they did not like the lesson that was taught. I think that the fact that the Little Red Hen shared her pizza even though her friends didn't help showed them that she had compassion on them just because she was their friend. We (and her friends) weren't expecting that. In the end they helped her clean up which makes everybody happy. This shows children that we can help our friends and not expect anything in return. Sometimes we can do nice things for others just because it makes us feel good. When I read it to my preschoolers, they loved it when she shared and when the friends helped her in the end. What lesson would have been taught if she would have told them no, you don't get any and then she cleaned it all up herself? I like this version much better as an alternate to the original.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenni Froelich on December 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a great twist on the story the little red hen. Instead of making a loaf of bread the little red hen is making a pizza and no one will help her. The pictures in this book are really interesting, they look like they were all formed from paper cut outs and there are lots of other abstract things going on in the pictures as well to discuss with your child. What my son and I love most about this book is that he can help tell the story. He loves the repetitiveness of the story and this book teaches children a wonderful lesson about sharing. I can't say enough good things about this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Kolb on November 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
This version runs pretty much the same, nobody helps the hen make anything and she does all the work herself. However, at the end she ends up sharing the pizza anyway. It defeats the entire moral of the story. Sure, in the end they help her eat the pizza and then help clean up, but that's not the point. Some will argue that they still helped, but they put in no work before the reward, and that's just not an attitude I want to instill in my children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn on June 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My 3 1/2 year-old daughter has enjoyed two different versions of this classic tale for the past year, so right after she had just made a pizza in preschool, this modern version was a sure hit.
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