Monday, February 7, 2011
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
About the Book: Little chicken won't go to bed without her bedtime story, but she keeps inerrupting.
Sarah Teenlibrarian Says: This is a cute little story, but I had a couple of problems with it. Interrupting Chicken was a Caldecott Honor Book this year so I think I was expecting some amazing artwork. And while the illustrations are good, they didn't really stand out to me and say "yes, this is a Caldecott Honor!" I did like the varying illustrations to alternate between little chicken and her father and the storybooks they're reading. And the author/illusrator does a good job of expressing emotions in Papa chicken's eyes showing how tiring little red chicken is. I think anyone who has had exprience with precocious preschoolers will appreciate that minor detail. I liked the artwork, I just think I was expecting a bit more.
My other problem with the book is probably me just getting on my librarian soapbox. I'm not even sure if the average reader would notice. But when Papa chicken tells a story, little red chicken likes to interupt (hence the name of the book) and tell her own ending to the story. It's pretty funny and cute, yet Papa chicken seems to be very bothered by this. At one point he tells little chicken "don't get so involved." NO! Isn't that what we want kids to do? Get involved with the story and get them excited about books and stories? I mean, one of the goals of ECRR is narrative skills which is all about kids re-tell stories as well as tell their own stories. So maybe I read too much into it, but that part really bugged me. And OK, maybe it can bring on a discussion with kids about how they can write their own stories. But really, Papa chicken needs to head to a library storytime or something!
It's a cute, funny, quirky book and I think parents will have fun reading it with their kids and I know the kids will laugh and think it's hilarious and love it. Maybe I just need to let go of the librarian mindset sometimes when it comes to reading.