by David Ezra Stein
Interrupting Chicken, a Caldecott Award winner is a children's book that I believe all young children should be exposed to for a variety of reasons. The illustrations in his book are very vivid and jump off the page making the story come to life. The story is a very easy read with simple vocabulary. The character, while being a chicken is still someone that many children can relate too. The plot behind the story is probably one that many parents can relate to as well. I picture myself with my little girl and trying to get her not so sleepy self to sleep one day and I can picture a scenario much like the one that Stein paints with Little Chicken and his Papa. Little Chicken is an excited little chicken that seems to love stories and needs a good bedtime story before he can go to sleep and as Papa pulls out many classics to read Little Chicken interrupts those stories with his own version of what happened.
Every time I read this story, I think of the many times I have read books to my classroom of bright eyed five year olds and how excited they get when they can relate to the story in some way. Little Chicken reminds me of those children and the many times I have asked children not to interrupt just as Papa Chicken said "You interrupted the story. Try not to get so involved." It made me stop and think, don't get so involved! Isn't that what we hope children do when they read, get involved! I want children to think about stories and get excited. Usually when children interrupted my reading, I got the best thoughts about the literature we were reading because they were so passionate about it. So instead of asking children not to interrupt maybe teach them of the right way to respond to literature and give them many times even during reading to express their thoughts or write their own ending to the story.
I also love how the author wrote/illustrated part of the story in Little Chicken's handwriting and drawings. Little Chicken decides to tell Papa a story and in turn tried to write his own book. This is another way to excite little children while reading and another reason this book is fabulous to read to children. This can be a great story to read to make children feel like they too can write and illustrate their own stories and maybe even make a book just like Little Chicken.
I will read this story many times in the future and on the surface any teacher/parent might pick it up as I once did thinking, "this will be great to help teach children not to interrupt." However, after reading it and really thinking about it I hope they decide to use it for many other reasons and think that sometimes interrupting might not be so just as I did after reading it. It is a great read for all in my opinion!