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Chanticleer and the Fox

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,024 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
King of the barnyard, Chanticleer struts about all day. When a fox bursts into his domain, dupes him into crowing, and then grabs him in a viselike grip, Chanticleer must do some quick thinking to save himself and his barnyard kingdom.
Paperback, 44 pages
Published November 1st 1982 by HarperCollins (first published 1958)
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Caldecott Medal Winners
51st out of 79 books — 344 voters
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List for #nerdcott
212th out of 335 books — 36 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,880)
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I find it interesting that so many of the comments on this book were about the vocabulary being too big (azure, sow, debonair) and the story being too long to hold the attention of small children. I think this speaks to the fact that in our rush to get children to read chapter books, we stop reading them picture books by the time they are 6 or 7. That wasn't true when this book was printed (1959). Even after kids learned to read, parent and teachers continued to read picture books to kids. And t ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it

I enjoyed "Chanticleer" though I'm not sure it will be especially memorable for me. I'm already a Barbara Cooney fan and I thought her illustrations were great--a delightful blend of bold and realistic with a touch of softness and charm. One of my favorite illustrations includes the daughter hugging the sheep--so sweet! I haven't read the original, so I can't compare, but felt that the adaptation was fairly readable and relatable for modern children but also retained a bit of it's old world flav
Jun 21, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
Alas, my Wednesday Night Working with Celeste on the Kids Floor will be moved to Thursdays, until further notice.

I don't know what other books were competing for the Caldecot for 1958, but this book is really charming.

I like the bold graphics and simple colors, but the detail and clean lines were beautiful.

A cute Aesop-ish tale, taken and adapted from the Canterbury Tales. The story itself is deeper than many picture books today. I liked that it actually had difficult vocabulary words as it's
Jul 09, 2015 Heidi rated it it was amazing
My 6 year old son, Daniel, says, "I loved all the animals! 5 stars!".
Guadalupe Sanchez
Chanticleer and the fox by Cooney Barbara
Genre: picture book Reading level: 1-6 grade Format: good

Reading the picture book Chanticleer And The Fox by Geoffrey Chaucer and illustrated by Barbara Cooney I came to realize that when the characters felt sad, scared, or out of place the picture illustrations had no color and where just black and white. But when the characters where happy the picture illustrations had color demonstrating the characters mood. Having the picture illustrations shown in
Kiera Burnett
Summary and Critique:
Barbara Cooney tells a traditional tale of the sly fox luring in his prey. It followed common themes of trickery and defeat as the story developed, leaving a triumphant, and much wiser rooster to return to his flock. Being a Caldecott Medal Winner, this children’s book features strong illustrations. All of the illustrations in the book use the same pallet of four colors: green, azure, coral, and burnished gold. These colors are highlighted when describing the rooster’s appea
Susan Mortimer
Nov 06, 2009 Susan Mortimer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lis-565
This re-telling of one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, brilliantly adapted and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, has within it the makings of a wonderful read-aloud experience for both child and adult. Cooney gives us Chaucer’s tale of Chanticleer, the vain (and prophetic) rooster captured by a fox due to his egotism, only to find he is later able to escape by playing to the fox’s own sense of self-importance. As Chanticleer has learned his lesson, he is unable to be persuaded by the fox to ...more
1959 Caldecott Medal Winner

Very cool medieval-style illustrations in this one. It says on one of the cover flaps that the illustrator studied illuminated manuscripts and borrowed some chickens in order to make these pictures. Nice! I'm still not sure how the illustrators make those solid colors--this one uses mostly blue, red, green, gold, and brown for the fox. The colors all look so solid that I'm not sure how they're done. I think the black is ink, though.

Pretty simple story lifted from Chauc
Tricia Douglas
Jan 12, 2015 Tricia Douglas rated it really liked it
I read this book as one of our January GR children's book groups. I respect Barbara Cooney's work and wanted to have this Caldecott for my collection. The story is an old Chaucer tale of a rooster who flaunts his good looks too much and is caught by a fox. Cooney's illustrations fit the story well. The moral of the story is one most children will learn from and provides a good discussion base for a family. Good story, great pictures.
Elijah Libert
I do not like this book because Chanticleer gets captured by the fox. His lesson was you should not listen to bad people.
Returning to this Caldecott Medal-winning book was a pleasure. I can remember reading this book when I was a child and being intrigued by the ornate artwork and the book's message about being wary of flatterers. As I read it again, the same pleasure I experienced initially returned to me, and I worried for the rooster while also laughing at how he turns the tables on the fox who plans to eat him for dinner. By opening his mouth when he shouldn't, he loses that succulent meal. I love the black an ...more
I'm writing a paper on Barbara Cooney and picked Chanticleer and the Fox as one of her books to focus on. This book was from the early part of her career where she etched into scratch board to create the detailed black and white illustrations and used color separation to add color. Barbara saw some chickens that she was eager to use in a book, then came across the Nun's Priest Tale and knew she had found the right vehicle for her chickens. The medieval scenery is perfect, as Barbara Cooney was o ...more
Dec 17, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
Cooney does a great job retelling this humorous Chaucer story, with a clever moral at the end. It is rather wordy, and so most suitable for elementary age children. The drawings are well executed and appealing. Some of the drawings are black ink only; others have been colored with bold, bright reds, greens, yellows, and other colors. The words and pictures are woven together into a seamless whole, making this one of my favorite of the Caldecott award-winning books.
Jordan Davidson
May 14, 2015 Jordan Davidson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-355
Chanticleer and the Fox
Barbara Cooney
Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1958

Summary: Chanticleer is a proud rooster; he’s beautiful, he knows it, and he knows others know it too. One day his pride gets the better of him and he is lured away from the safety of his home by a clever fox that tells him a few pretty words. If he’s able to escape, he’ll have learned an important lesson about the power of flattery. But will he be able to escape?

Genre: Picture Book

Content Warnings: Pride, showing off, animal cr
Adam Donald
This is a great book with a great lesson for children. Chanticleer was a rooster who fell in love with the hen Petiole. Chanticleer has a bad dream one night; however, Petiole tells him to not be afraid of a silly little dream. A few weeks later, a Fox tricks Chanticleer into coming home with him by flattering his singing voice. Chanticleer is very vain and falls for the fox’s flattery very easily. The fox does this so that he can hear him sing at the Fox’s house forever. Chanticleer ultimately ...more
Jan 01, 2010 Dianna rated it really liked it
The illustrations in this book are beautiful! It definitely deserved the Caldecott Medal. The pictures fit the story so well, and I love the style and the bright colors.

It would never have occurred to me to adapt Chaucer into a children's book. Although my three-year-old son didn't find the story terribly interesting (except for the naughty fox), it was a nice change of pace for me.
Apr 29, 2015 Aidan rated it it was ok
Shelves: tch_lrn-307
This story is about a rooster who has a fear of something scary happening in his future. His love, Madame Parlet, convinces him to have no fear and that fear is for cowards. The day comes that Chanticleer has been dreading. A Fox appears from the bushes but for only good intentions and that is to hear Chanticleer sing. The illustrations for “Chanticleer and The Fox” are very simple. There is a lot of open space but the features of the characters and setting are very specific. This story was a li ...more
Hollianne Wieland
Chanticleer is rooster on a simple farm, but in the animals world Chanticleer is the ‘King of the Barnyard’, and must protect his ‘kingdom’ when a fox breaks in, and tries to take it over. I honestly was not a huge fan of this story and thought it dragged on longer then needed. The illustrations in Chanticleer and the Fox tend to have a very limited color selection, and do not flow from page to page. For example some pages are very detailed from the hair on the person to the wood floors, where a ...more
Sam Cooper
Apr 07, 2014 Sam Cooper rated it liked it
chanticleer was a rooster who fell in love with the hen petiole. One night chanticleer has rather scary

dream, however petiole tells him to man up, and not to be afraid of a little dream. A few weeks later,

a fox kidnaps chanticleer so he would sing for him at the fox’s home. The rooster ultimately escapes

the fox by flying away to a tree branch. Chanticleer was initially fooled into going with the fox because

the tricky fox flattered the rooster’s singing voice. The morale of the story is don’t
Savannah Spaulding
This story is about a woman and her family who live a simple life where they do not have any problems until one day a naughty mean fox comes along and tries to trick them to make them leave their home and eat their rooster. The rooster eventually outsmarts the fox and the woman and her family are able to go back home. The illustrations in the book were simple and vibrant. I think in this book the words did more of the talking then the illustrations. One of the pages just had a fox and a rooster ...more
Feb 01, 2014 ABC rated it really liked it
Beautiful book, but too old fashioned to hold my son's interest.
Dec 14, 2008 Samantha rated it it was ok
Recommended to Samantha by: Caldecott
Shelves: caldecott
I learned not to let wolves flatter me into letting them eat me.
Mar 23, 2015 Meltha rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, picturebooks
A much older Caldecott winner than most of the others I'm familiar with, but it's a lot of fun. The illustrations are done in a dated style, but they're still engaging to look at and work well with the story. I admit I was more than a little amused at the idea of Chaucer showing up in a children's picture book since he was definitely not usually G-rated, but this is one of his least racy stories (although the rooster does still have seven wives). Overall, it was a nice, well done book, but the l ...more
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Despite the long-ish story which seems more common in older picturebooks (it honestly lost my attention midway through) the illustrations are quite remarkable. The requirements of color separation in 1958 could have imposed limits on the illustrator's abilities but instead seems to make her work against this limitation and is really quite exciting, even set among the full color picturebooks in today's market. The pages that incorporate all four colors seem rich with the firm black lines, level o ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Cheeri rated it liked it
I have never read one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales but loved the idea of reading something old. My first grader has been listening to stories about Chanticleer, the rooster, in her classroom this year. Chanticleer is a proud rooster who lives with his seven hen wives near a small cottage owned by a thrifty widow and her two daughters. A clever fox comes to call one day and takes advantage of Chanticleer's narcissistic behavior. Who is the cleverest - Chanticleer or the fox? This fable ...more
Sep 05, 2013 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: tled-642
Summary:This is a story of a rooster who is owned by a poor family. He has the most beautiful colors and merry crow in all the land. Through the flattery of a fox, he is captured and taken away to be eaten. He escapes by tricking the fox and learns his lesson of deception.
Curriculum Connection:Great usage of adjectives that aren't commonly used in picture books. Also a great way to introduce how flattery can be misleading/deceiving and to trust your instincts (might could integrate this with "Do
Chanticleer is the most fabulous rooster to be found. His appearance is beautiful and as for his crowing, "there was not an equal in all the land". He and seven hens, three hogs, three cows, and one sheep live in a fenced yard that belongs to a widow and her two daughters.

One morning Chanticleer awakes feeling disturbed about a dream he had in which a dog-like creature with fur "between yellow and red" and tiped on the tail and ears with black tried to kill him. His most beloved hen, Partlet, c
Molly Schibly
Dec 08, 2015 Molly Schibly rated it it was ok
Chanticleer and the Fox this book was not among my favorites. Although the illustrations were good for showing the plot of the story, I did not find them aesthetically pleasing at all and think they could use more colors. I did however think the story was kind of funny, it emphasizes the importance of not trusting flattery. It is an odd lesson for young kids but it is a very good concept to understand! Overall, however, I think a lot more could have been done for the illustrations.
Megan Guertler
Sep 16, 2014 Megan Guertler rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. What did it for me was the pictures. I absolutely adored the illustration!The mixture of black and white and then the add in of the color was so inviting. close to the beginning of the book the three girls are in a room with a fire. On these two pages is where the beauty really stuck out to me. I loved that red was the only color on the page. I thought it was so cool how it emphasized the dresses, fire, and flower. I though this was amazing.
Rachel Escobar
Jan 15, 2015 Rachel Escobar rated it really liked it
I like this story because it has a moral to it. I like how it talked of all the hens and how chanticleer was the best because of his voice. How he would "sing" and all the other hens loved him. I also liked how at the end of the story when he gets away, they tell him look where boasting has gotten him, almost eaten up by a fox. I liked that this story had a moral about being vain an such an where it can lead you if you are not careful.
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Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 – October 25, 1400?) was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacu ...more
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“I believe that children in this country need a more robust literary diet than they are getting. …It does not hurt them to read about good and evil, love and hate, life and death. Nor do I think they should read only about things that they understand. '…a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.' So should a child’s. For myself, I will never talk down to, or draw down to, children.

(from the author's acceptance speech for the Caldecott award)”
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