Reviews for Chicken Big


Booklist Reviews 2010 November #1
In a sort of mash-up of "Chicken Little" and "Blind Men and the Elephant," henhouse residents are set aflutter by the arrival of an enormous new hatchling. What is it? An elephant, opines the smallest chicken. But when that same hen ("not the sharpest beak in the flock") is hit in succession by an acorn ("The sky is falling!"), a drop of rain ("The sky is leaking!"), and a cold breeze ("Someone has put the world in the refrigerator! We're all going to freeze!"), the monster provides both common sense and protective bulk--and in return is identified as a squirrel, then an umbrella, then a sweater. Graves illustrates this crowd-pleaser with simple cartoon scenes in which the new chick looms hugely, rolling its eyes at the antics of a quartet of scraggly, pop-eyed, appropriately silly-looking poultry. In a satisfying resolution, the chick dashes off heroically to rescue a clutch of stolen eggs from a marauding fox, earning proper recognition, acceptance--and, most likely, loud requests for repeat readings from delighted audiences. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
When a gigantic chick hatches from an egg, the farm's other birds are convinced that he's a squirrel (because he eats an acorn), an umbrella (because he protects everyone from rain), etc. The book's considerable humor coexists easily with its don't-let-others-define-you message. The art, including spreads and cartoon panels, features great dumb-bird reaction shots. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #1
"On a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big, humongous egg"—and, of course, out of that egg hatches a big, humongous chick. He is so big (he looks like a giant yellow pear with a yellow bowl cut looming over the other barnyard fowl) none of the other chickens knows quite what he is. "It's an elephant!" surmises the dimwitted smallest chicken. When an acorn falls and bonks her on the head, she begins the whole sky-is-falling shtick. Chicken Big reassures the panicking chickens—"It's only an acorn. They're actually quite tasty"—and is promptly relabeled a squirrel. Graves rings the changes on the atmospheric woes that might confuse a chicken, causing Chicken Big to go through numerous incarnations: Next he's an umbrella, then a sweater ("This is getting ridiculous," he thinks). The illustrations maximize the goof factor inherent in Chicken Big's babyish colossalness next to the tiny adult chickens, and they incorporate speech bubbles and some sequential panels to advance the foolery. For all kids who know they are really smarter than the grown-ups. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 September #1
Compared to panicky Chicken Little, Chicken Big is unflappable. Born "on a teeny little farm, in an itty-bitty coop," this newborn towers over four fellow chickens, who decide he must be an elephant (his stature recalls the "Hyde and Go Tweet" Merrie Melodies cartoon featuring Tweety and Sylvester). When something drops on the smallest hen, she yelps, "The sky is falling!" Chicken Big calmly says, "It's only an acorn. They're actually quite tasty." He is equally placid and helpful when the ditsy chickens freak out over the rain and wind, revising their guesses about his identity"Apparently, he is an umbrella!" When a fox steals their eggs and Chicken Big foils the crime, they finally figure it out: "Only one thing could be so smart, so kind, so warm, and so brave." Graves (Desert Rose and Her Highfalutin Hog) renders his fowl in a palette of gray-blue, taupe, and wheat yellow, with exuberant voice bubbles that highlight the ridiculousness of the smaller chickens' assertions. Graves has great fun at their expensepreserving the message that fools jump to hasty conclusionsand kids will, too. Ages 48. (Sept.) Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 October

PreS-Gr 2--The pint-size poultry are as brainless as ever in this quirky revision of the classic "Chicken Little" tale, but the hero here is mysterious Chicken Big. Is he an elephant? The smaller chickens are sure that he could not be one of them and exclude him from the coop. When an acorn falls on the smallest one's head, she thinks the sky is falling. But when clear-headed Chicken Big explains what it is and pops it into his mouth, the other chickens decide that he must really be a squirrel. Chicken Big's unwilling companions arrive at one ridiculous conclusion after another. He protects them from the rain, so he could be an umbrella. He keeps them warm in a cold breeze, so he could be a sweater. When all the eggs go missing and Chicken Big saves the day, the others realize that "only one thing could be so smart, so kind, so warm, and so brave." (A chicken, of course.) Graves's pastel-hued illustrations with comic-style panels have a spontaneous and quirky quality reminiscent of Mo Willems's Pigeon and Leonardo books, and thoughtful design plays up the disproportionate size of Chicken Big. An amusing tale that will draw giggles from preschool and early elementary read-aloud audiences, this is a fun addition to any collection or comparative folklore unit.--Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

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