Book Review: Chicken Butt!
By Erica S. Perl
Illustrated by Henry Cole
Abrams Books for Young Readers
So here’s the question: How do you feel about a raucous storytime? Are you pro or con? Cause that’s what you’re going to have if you pull this one out during read-aloud. There are children’s books that work well when shared, then you have books like Chicken Butt, that are created for group settings. Say goodbye to the “fouth wall” – readers are invited into the story from page one. While the central joke isn’t new, this winning combination of humor and the element of surprise will make for a memorable read aloud.
When the title of a book is chicken butt, you can imagine where things are going. After a lost chicken follows a brown-haired boy home, he decides to spring that age old question, “You know what?”, upon his unsuspecting father, who responds with a simple, “What?” The answer (“Chicken butt!”) comes when the page is turned, with the chicken providing a visual aid. A series of similar question-and-answer exchanges ensue, with a range of fowl anatomy (thigh, eyebrow, etc.) brought into the mix. The father eventually grows weary of this game and wants to put an end to it. But the boy, using all his powers of persuasion, gets his dad to answer one last question – the answer to which will be a sure-fire crowd pleaser.
If you’ve read Leslie Helakoski’s Big Chickens than you’re familiar with Henry Cole. Loose and expressive, Cole’s illustrations set the right mood for this sort of story.
Really, this is less of a review than it is a question. Are you ready for the sort ofÂ rip-roaring storytime that this book promises? While adults (like the one in the book) may not be thrilled with the premise of Chicken Butt, kids will be unquestionably sold.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
Filed under: *Best New Books*, Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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