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Chanticleer and the Fox
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Chanticleer and the Fox

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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,639 ratings  ·  134 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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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Caldecott Medal Winners
51st out of 78 books — 296 voters
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead GeorgeFantastic Mr. Fox by Roald DahlWhite Fang by Jack LondonThe Call of the Wild by Jack LondonLittle Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman
Foxes and Wolves
44th out of 378 books — 79 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,271)
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Cheryl
Perhaps a little long-winded for today's young listeners, but it would probably make for a good family read. Despite the simple story, there are lots of discussion points.

For just one example, the widow 'had only three large sows, three cows, and also a sheep called Molly.' Then we meet Chanticleer and his harem of seven hens - so the natural question is, why didn't they count as the widow's property? (My guess would be that they're more taken-for-granted, as everyone had chickens, but to own t
...more
Logan
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
Kathryn

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
...more
Wendy
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Susan Mortimer
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
Heather
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
...more
Tricia Douglas
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.
Barbara
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
Elaine
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
Beverly
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.
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
Dianna
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.
Sam Cooper
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
...more
Kirei
Beautiful book, but too old fashioned to hold my son's interest.
Samantha
Dec 14, 2008 Samantha rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Samantha by: Caldecott
Shelves: caldecott
I learned not to let wolves flatter me into letting them eat me.
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
Cheeri
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
Hannah
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
...more
babyhippoface
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
...more
Megan Guertler
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
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.
Ashley
Sometimes, I find books at the library for me (and Alice). I'll admit, Alice had trouble getting interested in this book, so I translated the first few pages into super familiar language to get her into the story. She thought the fox was "super scary." I think I may overuse the word "super" around her. This book is the award winning children's adaptation of the classic Chaucerian tale about the rooster and the fox.
Rachel
This book was an adaption of the "Nun's Priest's Tale" from "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer. It won the 1959 Caldecott Award. The main thing that I love about the book were the illustrations, which have a wood-cut quality to them. Barbara Cooney studied illuminated manuscripts to get ready for the illustrations for this book, as well as studied live chickens in her studio to get just the right details. The illustrations are predominantly black and white with pops of vibrant red, gold, ...more
Zoe Scrivener
It was nice to be able to read a cleaned up version of "The Nun's Priest's Tale." The story seemed a little difficult for a grade three level, even though multiple sites classified it as such. The illustrations are done in an old style, and, while they earned a Caldecott in their time, may not be interesting to children today.
Makenzie Sliva
Chanticleer and the Fox is a fable about a rooster and a fox. It raises the question of which one is more clever, the rooster or the fox? This story was a little bit long for being a picture book and it wasn't my favorite but I did take on an appreciation for the illustrations in the story. What stood out to me about the illustrations in this book was that there were only five colors in the entire book. These were green, red, yellow, blue and black. The drawings were primarily black and the colo ...more
Taleoftwopiggies
Love this nice retell of the famous tale. It is a bit long so plan more time beforehand. Words are kind of "big" but very vivid. Parent who reads the book to young children needs to put some dramatic acting in there to catch their attention. My kids (5 and 6) paid close attention all the way through and agreed it's a great story! Nicely written and illustrated!
Susan Menk
Tags: Caldecott, Canterbury Tales, fable, medieval images, rooster, fox, Nun's Priest's Tale, standard source

Chanticleer crows a merry song in his home with the widow and her two daughters. One day he has a dream about a fox, but his wife brushes it off only to find it is true! Chanticleer falls for the fox's flattery and is carted off, but he evens the score when he convinces the fox to tell everyone to go away and Chanticleer is able to escape. Illustrations are done in a medieval style with w
...more
Rebecca Ann
There were several things about this tale that rubbed me the wrong way. I wouldn't want to read it to children. The rooster has seven wives, for instance, and the wives are appreciated for very sexist traits like being discreet and pretty. The rooster is shunned by his wife for being afraid of a fox (seems pretty reaosnable) and is sexistly called a coward. I realize this comes from Chaucer and has the biases of its time period, but I never really liked Chaucer just for those reasons, and don't ...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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