Reviews for Chicken Little

Booklist Reviews 2009 May #1
*Starred Review* You think you know the story of Chicken Little? Well, maybe you do, but the Emberleys' hip, happening illustrations will make you see it in a whole new way. As before, Chicken Little ("not the brightest chicken in the coop") gets hit with an acorn and assumes the sky is falling. Soon the usual suspects--Loosey Goosey, Turkey Lurky, et al.--are given the news with much squawking and shaking. Then a kindly wolf comes along with an offer that will keep them safe. . . . While the text may follow a familiar path, the art does not. The Emberleys offer what looks like cut-paper animals in well-defined shapes and eye-popping shades and set them against solid backgrounds of such pure color they seem to fly off the page. Many a spread displays skill and whimsy in equal parts: a reappearing sky-blue umbrella adorned with lacy clouds obscures the fowls' heads, and the tiny acorn sits proudly on top. Kids may not immediately get the twist at the end, but when they do, they'll find the chuckles well worth the wait. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #3
The acorn falls ("BONK!"), the chicken panics ("EEP!"), and off he runs helter-skelter "without much of a plan." The Emberleys' irreverent re-visioning and riotous illustrations play up the bird-braininess of the participants in Chicken Little's ill-informed sky-is-falling crusade. Silly sound effects and comedic editorial comments ("Honestly, with names like these, is it any wonder?") take the place of the more-familiar rhythmic repetition of characters' names. It's the dynamic illustrations and book design, however, that are the real feathers in this creative team's cap. Large, boldly colored birds flap across spacious white pages; their oversize, mesmerizingly multicolored eyes telegraph anxiety and instability. One by one the frantic flock gathers under Chicken Little's sky-blue-with-puffy-clouds umbrella (which, when set against a white background, looks like a broken piece of sky). Running for their lives, they smack into a duplicitous Foxy Loxy with yellow teeth and red and purple spiraling eyes that vibrate with barely contained craving. The fox invites them to take shelter in "this warm, dark cave" (his mouth); "without another thought in their...heads," they do. A dramatic gatefold reveals the outcomes of an ill-timed (for Foxy Loxy) sneeze; the final page assures viewers that the birds are safe (and still running). There's nothing subtle about this account of birds on the verge, which makes the book perfect for cheep storytime thrills. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 February #2
An old chestnut of a tale comes to rip-roaringly glorious, hilarious, gorgeous life in the hands of two picture-book masters. When Chicken Little is knocked senseless by a well-placed acorn, the only thing to do is to grab an umbrella to "protect his scrambled noggin" and head for the hills sans plan. In his travels he is joined by Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Loosey Goosey and a host of other mindless fowl. Clever Foxy Loxy momentarily tricks the group into "hiding" from the falling sky in his mouth, but an ill-timed sneeze releases them and, when last seen, backside-to over Foxy Loxy's ears on the colophon, the bird brains are beating a hasty retreat. Emberley fille 's dry wit ("Still no plan") acts as the perfect complement to Emberley père's art, which leaps off the page, mixing colors with crazed combinations that provide the perfect balance between text and image. Ideal for reading aloud and as a visual stimulant, this title is bound to become the favored version for children and adults alike. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 January #3

There's a dash of snarkiness in the father-and-daughter Emberleys' version of the familiar fable, but it's to good purpose. By wryly emphasizing that Chicken Little and his clueless compatriots have "no plan" beyond hysterically running and crashing into one another ("Honestly, with names like these, is it any wonder?" the narrator asks after introducing Loosey Goosey), readers can indulge in a healthy feeling of superiority. The Emberleys add a twist at the end, which receives full play on a foldout spread--unfortunately, the illustrations here don't track (the fowl, supposedly inside a fox's mouth, are prematurely shown outside it). The eye-popping colors and handcrafted shapes reflect the aesthetic that Rebecca Emberley has employed successfully elsewhere (see My Big Book of Spanish Words, for example), and the addition of "Bonk!" "Ack!" and other cartoony interjections heightens the silliness. However, the comic chaos that drives the story has infected the composition. Instead of savoring the action, readers may find that their eyes skid across the pages. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 May

PreS-Gr 2--The Emberleys' interpretation of this oft-told tale explodes with concentrated color in ingeniously simple and wickedly wacky collage shapes. Chicken Little is adorable, a super-bright yellow cutie pie with huge, three-colored eyes and a punklike crest. With a "BONK!" and an "EEP!," he is knocked senseless by an acorn that's almost half his size, and his eyeballs are replaced by stars. The umbrella he grabs "to protect his scrambled noggin" is an umbrella-shaped piece of sky, and the white clouds on the intense blue melt into the white page backgrounds. More "BONK!"s and "AWK!"s follow as C.L. caroms off Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Loosey Goosey, and a gorgeously colorful Turkey Lurky. The sound effects and the snippy, deliciously snide narration complement the pictures perfectly. When the birds enter the "warm, dark cave" into which the fox has invited them (his mouth), the hen squawks, "'Pheeeeew! It stinks in here.' 'And the floor is squishy and wet!' quacked the duck." These words appear in white on a jet-black spread, altered only by several vivid pairs of perplexed eyes. In the foldout page that follows, readers see the creatures' miraculous escape. The pithy plot and magnetic illustrations will attract younger readers; the sassy storytelling and quirky humor will appeal to all ages.--Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

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