Interrupting Chicken Review
Title: Interrupting Chicken
Author: David Ezra Stein
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Interrupting Chicken is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a father (rooster) attempting to get an unruly child (chick) to sleep by reading her a favourite fairy tale. Papa reminds Chicken to remember to not interrupt the story, which of course the little red chicken ignores.
As Papa reads Hansel & Gretel, at the critical moment when the children are about to enter the house of the wicked witch, Chicken declares "Out jumped a little red chicken, and she said "DON'T GO IN! SHE'S A WITCH!" So Hansel and Gretel didn't. THE END!'
The interruptions from Chicken continue when Papa attempts to read Little Red Riding Hood. The little red chicken warns Little Red Riding Hood to not talk to strangers and the tale abruptly and sadly ends. (The wolf in the story looks a bit confused by the way the story has turned out.) The interruptions come to a head when Papa attempts to read the story of Chicken Little. Chicken Little, hit on the head by an acorn, is about to warn others that the sky is falling... 'when out jumps a little red chicken, "DON'T PANIC! IT WAS JUST AN ACORN!" Papa soon tires of the recalcitrant little chicken and asks her to tell a story ,which the little red chicken happily does. Papa soon falls asleep as does the little red chicken.
Interrupting Chicken Review cont...
Interrupting Chicken makes wonderful use of classic and immediately identifiable fairy tales and subverts them a little. The book makes a suitable language teaching text when discussed side by side with the original tales.
Much fun can be had with students when discussing the little red chicken's cheeky sabotage of the original fairy tales. It is worth exploring what indeed would happen if the original story was interrupted? The sequence of events would surely change. Many different and alternative scenarios for each fairy tale can be investigated. For instance, what would happen to Hansel and Gretel if they didn't enter the witch's house? Would they find their way out of the forest?, etc...
Recommended for children 5- 7 years of age.