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CHICKEN BIG

Author: Keith Graves

Illustrator: Keith Graves

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Publisher: Chronicle Books,

Material: hard cover

Summary: The farm may be little, his mom may be little, but whatever came out of that egg is really big. So big, that the hens are convinced it's not a chick. Maybe an elephant? a squirrel? a sweater? a hippopotamus? a hero? Don't mistake this book for a rif on Chicken Little. It's a story unto itself.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 9

Reading Level: 2.4

Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Not only did our daughter like the story, she loved reading (and rereading) the back cover. She especially liked showing us the "shortcut" to the story.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is predictable, but clever all the same. Some of the other fowl were cuter than Chicken Big (the haircut looks silly!) I love how the pages are set up, offering a traditional picture book layout, but also adding a graphic novel format. That got our daughter reading what she probably would have otherwise considered a 'baby book.'

Pros: Cute illustrations and plenty of visual humor make this a fun read to share with preschoolers. There is lots of dialogue, too, which make it a good selection for partner reading.

Cons: None, really.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Odds are if you read this once, you'll read it a lot. Because of the dialogue and repetition it has potential to be a book new readers come back to to read for themselves.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ARE YOU A HORSE?   THE COW THAT LAID AN EGG   THE PLOT CHICKENS

Educational Themes: This is a picture book that is built to read just for the fun of sharing a story. That said, you can talk about what happens when you judge (or misjudge) others, friendship, and community.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal character, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2010

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