Sunday, February 13, 2011

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

When we held our Mock Caldecott this year the week before the awards were announced, this book wasn't even in our set of books that we were considering. Yet, when the winner were read the next Monday, this one won an Honor medal. It is a very cute book (though I am not sure I would call the illustrations "distinguished", they certainly are fun). It is time for bed and little chicken wants his father to read him a bedtime story. The father agrees, as long as the little chicken promises not to interrupt. As the father starts Hansel and Gretel, Little Chicken does, of course, interrupt and changes the story to have himself warn the children of the witch, so they never get caught. On it goes with Red Riding Hood and Chicken Little. Finally, in exasperation, the father suggests that Little Chicken tell a story, and as he does, Father falls fast asleep. Stein does both the text and illustrations. The colors are bold and clashing, which hints from the beginning that this is not supposed to be a restful book. He changes illustration styles to represent the illustrations of the books the father is reading. The book style is spindly and suggests the old illustration styles of the early1900's. He changes styles again for the child's story at the end. I remember once, when my husband was reading a bed time story to Joseph, looking into the room to see both father and son fast asleep on my son's bed. This book really is well done, and worth a check out.

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