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07 March 2013

Review: Prairie Chicken Little by Jackie Mims Hopkins

Prairie Chicken Little In this prairie-style twist on Chicken Little, Mary McBlicken hears a rumble and is sure a stampede s a comin'! She sets off to warn Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan, gathering up her friends along the way. Before they can get there, though, the band of prairie critters gets tricked by a mean Coyote and trapped in his evil den. Will the friends escape in time? And where is that rumbling coming from after all?

I love love love a good retelling of a classic story.  PRAIRIE CHICKEN LITTLE by Jackie Mims Hopkins and illustrated by the great Henry Cole is just that.  It takes the classic story of Chicken Little (you know..."The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!") and sets it on the prairie.  

One of the first things I noticed was that all the names rhymed, which I thought was adorable and would be a nice little boost for those struggling readers.  The second thing I noticed was that I could also use this when talking about habitats or the Plains.  I liked that Hopkins used words like habitat, grassland (and then showed the animals that lived in each part).

I don't know about you, but when I read stories set out west or down south, my Virginia accent comes out.  Even when I read them silently.  

And what can I say about the illustrations?  I mean, shoot.  They're by Henry Cole.  They're awesome.  I love the expressions on the various animals' faces.  

The only thing I wasn't so keen on was that the rumbling and grumbling and tumbling that Mary McBlicken the prairie chicken heard turned out to be her tummy.  I thought that was kind of silly.  Not that silly is bad, but that solution never even crossed my mind.  However, I can really see kiddos loving this explanation and thinking it was just the funniest/silliest thing.

All in all, a great book.  I can't wait to add it to my mixed up fairy tale box.  I'd like to thank Peachtree Publishers for sending me a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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