The little red hen

Jerry Pinkney

Book - 2006

A newly illustrated edition of the classic fable of the hen who is forced to do all the work of baking bread and of the animals who learn a bitter lesson from it.

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Picture books
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers c2006.
Item Description
Cover title.
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill
Main Author
Jerry Pinkney (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

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. ((Reviewed March 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Caldecott Honor artist Pinkney puts a sprightly spin on this classic tale with resplendent artwork that comically conveys the title character's energy--and her barnyard colleagues' sloth. The little red hen bids a cheerful "Good morning!" to a smiling sun in the luminous opening spread, in which even the garden flowers and fence slats have faces. Kids will gleefully chime in as the lazy animals, rendered realistically at close range, reiterate the familiar "Not I" response to the hen's repeated requests for help. Adding further verve to the spreads, each animal's name appears in a hue that corresponds to its feathers, fur or hide. The fiery heroine pointedly attempts to draft the critters' help by pointing out its defining characteristics (while attempting to draft the dog's aid in planting the seeds, she says, "Surely you will [help].... You are so fond of digging"), making their refusal the more biting. With feathers a-flutter, a determined countenance and straw bonnet tied under her chin, the little red hen cuts quite an appealing figure as she tackles her tasks surrounded by her adorable, fuzzy chicks. She dons a stylish shawl as she sets off--solo--to the mill, where smiling Mr. Miller grounds her grain into flour and presents her with a jar of berry jam. Capturing the contentment of the moment when the little red hen and her brood share the fruits of her labors, the tale's final words are "Oh joy of joys!"--bread and book alike. Ages 4-up. (May) [Page 63]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 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 [Page 116]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A Caldecott Honor winner presents a newly illustrated edition of the classic fable of the hen who is forced to do all the work of baking bread and of the animals who learn a bitter lesson from it.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A newly illustrated edition of the classic fable of the hen who is forced to do all the work of baking bread and of the animals who learn a bitter lesson from it.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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)