Children's Lit Book Reviews

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile

By: Won-Ldy Paye & Margaret Lippert
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: Picture Book/Fantasy
Award: Charlotte Zolotow Award-Honor Book

"Readers young and old will cluck with delight"
-Publishers Weekly

Summary: Mrs. Chicken takes her bath in a puddle and after basking in her beauty realizes that the puddle is not large enough for her to see a reflection of her complete beauty. So, she decides to take a walk down to the river so that she can gaze into the water to get a better look at herself. But what she doesn't know is that there is a crocodile lying under the water's surface, waiting for some thing to eat. As she peeks into the river, she notices that she still can't see her wing but instead sees a long scaly green thing within the water and insists that she looks different in the river than she did in the puddle. Suddenly, after deciding to take a closer look at herself, the crocodile snaps at Mrs. Chicken grabbing her foot and drags her back to the crocodile's house. Once they reach the crocodile's home, Mrs. Chicken jumps up into the rafters and hides from the crocodile. The crocodile demands that Mrs. Chicken comes down, but she refuses to do so. Then, without thinking, Mrs. Chicken quickly tells the crocodile, a female, that she can't eat Mrs. Chicken because they are sisters. The crocodile laughs, but Mrs. Chicken somehow convinces the crocodile to giver her some time to prove that they are sisters. The crocodile complies with her wishes and eventually switches her eggs for the eggs of the crocodile convincing the crocodile that they are sisters. They decide to trade children because Mrs. Chicken actually has the crocodile's children and vise versa. After spending some time, Mrs. Chicken asks the crocodile to take her and her babies back home since they were sisters.
Who would benefit from reading this book?: This is a great book for children of all ages to read. I think there is a moral hidden deep within this story and teaches children to be happy with what they have and not to venture too far out looking for bigger and better.
What problems/conflicts could this book potentially cause?: I don't think that this book contains any problems that would make it controversial.
My reaction: This book is funny!!! Once again I found myself laughing out loud. I think the authors did a good job in teaching important life lessons. I liked how they transformed this Liberian folk tale into a beautiful book with wonderful illustrations to match the background of the tale.
posted by Jon Dale at 3:32 PM


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