Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney enlivens the beloved fable with cheerful and classically beautiful illustrations, making this the ideal edition for every child’s library.
As he did with his Caldecott-winning
The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney has masterfully adapted this story of the hardworking hen and her lazy neighbors. Its Golden Rule message and sassy finale are just as relevant and satisfying as ever. Read it in tandem with Pinkney’s
Puss in Boots and
The Tortoise and the Hare or David Wiesner’s
The Three Pigs.
"Perfect [for] sharing with one listener, or a crowd." —
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Cheerful [and] luminous. Kids will gleefully chime in.”—
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A lush light-filled rendition of a folktale staple.”—
School Library Journal (starred review)
PreSchool-Grade 4 Important lessons of work ethics, initiative, and natural consequence are delivered in the latest addition to what might be considered the Pinkney classic bookshelf a lush, light-filled rendition of a folktale staple. The colorful, feather-full frontispiece features a full-page portrait of the heroine herself, wordlessly inviting children to turn the page with a cunningly crooked wing. You know the story; in this version, the jaunty, straw-hat-wearing Red Hen pops against golden, sun-bleached, full-bleed backgrounds. Her stunning farmyard neighbors dwarf her, emphasizing her stature (both physical and social). But a single mom''s got to do what she''s got to do to put bread on the table, and so she asks for assistance. She''s a smart old bird: she flatters each animal as she appeals to him to use his particular skill (the dog is a fine digger; the rat, a champion chopper; the goat would be great at pulling; and the pig, well, at pigging) to help. Still, she''s met with that familiar refrain Not I. There''s a lot of heart in the details here: Pinkney puts in a self-portrait appearance as hard-working Mr. Miller, and the passage of time is subtly marked by the growth of the hen''s five chicks, who begin as balls of yellow fluff and are markedly bigger by story''s end. The animal''s names appear in color-coded font (red for the hen, brown for the dog, etc.), making it extra-easy even for pre-readers to chime in, and the glorious, generous paintings are a real gift. Oh joy of joys!
Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT
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PreS-K. The familiar story of the hen unable to get help receives the full Pinkney visual treatment here: meticulously crafted watercolors depicting a cast of unique characters. However, unlike Pinkney''s Caldecott Honor Book,
Noah''s Ark (2002), this story doesn''t offer much opportunity for action scenes. Consequently, the spreads are a bit static, focusing on the rat, the goat, the pig, and the dog who refuse to help Hen make the bread but are perfectly willing to share the finished product. The hen appears on the cover, red as an autumn leaf and decked out in a shawl and a hat, but the other animals are truer to their mangy, dirty natures (you can almost smell the goat). The miller who grinds the flour and gives the hen some jam is a nice touch; in fact, he looks a lot like Pinkney. Perfect for reading aloud, this picture book will be a solid addition to the folklore shelves.
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"...perfect, as are the pictures, for sharing with one listener, or a crowd."
-Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Cheerful [and] luminous. Kids will gleefully chime in.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A lush light-filled rendition of a folktale staple.”—School Library Journal, starred review
Jerry Pinkney is one of America''s most admired children''s book illustrators. He has won the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, five
New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Awards, the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the Society of Illustrators'' Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award, and many other prizes and honors. Recently a member of the National Council of the Arts and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has also served on the U.S. Postal Service Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Jerry Pinkney lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, in Westchester County, New York.