Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Picture Book Review: Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein. unpgd. Candlewick Press, September, 2018. (Review of finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

Our irrepressible interrupting chicken is back and her patient papa continues to stoically submit to his little chick's insistence that the literary term is not the element of surprise, but the elephant of surprise. Papa tries to prove her wrong by whipping out a book of fairy tales and dang, if that pesky elephant doesn't show up every time! Even when he resorts to making up his own story, interrupting chicken illustrates and gets that elephant of surprise to show up!

Fans of the first book, Interrupting Chicken, which won a Caldecott Honor, will be tickled to revisit chicken and her papa. Fans who find this one will demand the first. And deservedly so. In fact, I needed to run over to the library to borrow Interrupting Chicken!

Again, the mixed media art shines here. The colors are warm and there's plenty of detail to catch the eye, such as the school bus viewed through the window of the living room. The textures are inviting as well. One can see crayon markings as well as colored pencil strokes. Papa, as caregiver continues to dote and seems to have an after-school routine. He leaves his computer to devote his entire attention to chicken. Alas, his attempts at gentle correction fall on deaf ears and he attempts to prove it with a story. 

The art for the "storybook" parts is different, seeming to be pen and ink, but the background contains interesting details for young eagle eyed readers/ listeners.

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise is a #nevertoooldforpicturebooks picture book. It can be shared with older students as a playful introduction to the literary device and younger students will hoot with glee over chicken's exuberant free spirit. She's definitely an outside-the-box thinker. Highly recommended for everyone young and old. 

Here's a link to an adorable trailer.

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