Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Sky is Falling! by Mark Teague

Fox is hoping to stir up trouble, and a possible meal, by hitting Chicken Little on the head with an acorn. As soon as Chicken Little is hit, she and the other hens repeatedly scream that the sky is falling. Squirrel tries to explain what really happened, but the chickens don't seem to listen. Soon their panicky chants lead all the chickens to, what else, dance! Their odd response both puzzles but delights the other farm animals as everyone joins in the fun. Fox is very confused by the dancing, but still thinks his easy meal is within reach...that is until he is challenged to dance.   

A fun interpretation of the classic "Chicken Little" tale, Teague's watercolor illustrations showcase both the humor and energy of the story. At first reading, the plot can seem a bit random with the hens sporadically dancing in the face of their doom. However, with careful re-reading, the dumb idea of these choreographed chickens saves them from the real fate noted in the original tale. A note of caution to both parents and teachers: Teague's story is a read-aloud book, not a "read-alone" picture book for new readers. Teague uses several exotic dancing styles in his story. When reading the book aloud, Teague's boisterous illustrations still carries the silliness of his message even if young listeners may be unfamiliar with the dance styles mentioned. But new readers may stumble over these exotic terms when reading the book on their own.

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