Chanticleer and the Fox
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Chanticleer and the Fox

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,400 ratings  ·  118 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. Winner, 1959 Caldecott Medal
Notable Children's Books of 1940–1970 (ALA)
Winner, 1992 Kerlan Award
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published January 1st 1958 by HarperCollins
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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
Cheryl in CC NV
Perhaps a little long-winded for today's young listeners, but it would probably make for a good family read. Despite the simply 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
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
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
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
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
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
Dec 14, 2008 Samantha rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
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
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
1959 Caldecott Medal

Favorite line: "She was polite, discreet, debonair, and companionable and she had conducted herself so well . . ."

Favorite illustration: The opening illustration of the widow and children gathering berries outside of their home.

Thoughts: I loved the richly detailed illustrations by the author/illustrator who did one of my all-time favorite, Miss Rumphius. The story, which is an adaptation of Chaucer's tale comes across as too preachy and moralistic, and I'm just not sure toda...more

This picture book won the Caldecott Medal in 1959. The story is adapted from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tale, "The Nun's Priest's Tale." There are no nuns or priests in this version.

Chanticleer is the sole rooster belonging to a widow and her two children. The fox tricks the rooster and carries him off. Chanticleer works out a trick of his own and gets free.

The illustrations are indeed excellent, especially the colors and the use of orange as an accent against gold and black. But at the end t...more
Rita Date
This book was intriguing to me because it played around with different types of colors. Sometimes the colors would be as simple as black and white, but other times they were bright and bold. The author did do a good job telling the story through the pictures. One thing I would critique would be that the pictures do not fill the whole page. I think it is fun for kids to be looking at a lot of different pictures that fill the entire page. On the other hand though it was fairly simple to flip thro...more
Like the story and the illustrations very much but the vocabulary and syntax makes this one too difficult for most readers in lower elementary school.
LeAnn Forystek
This book, a Caldecott winner, taught a very good lesson about how we should not let flattery distract us from our tasks. I thought it was a good lesson for any age.
While I appreciate the retelling of this tale, illustrated for children, it's just not a favorite. The final panel is charming...truly the illustrations are cleverly done!
Lea Lea
Oh, I enjoyed the moral, the setting, the illustrations. For a family that loves chickens whose enemy the fox is very real, this is one is a winner!
This is a beautiful children's story that provides many a teaching moment. My 7 year old and I enjoyed this tale at bedtime last night.
Amy Dennehy
This was a story that you could just go through and look at the pictures and already know how the story was going to go. The pictures were very clear and easy to read. After just looking at the pictures I went back and read the story, and although I gained much more information after reading the text, my initial story I created with the pictures was fairly on track. I liked how the illustrations were all over the pages; some were in the corners of pages, while others were in between the pages in...more
Katie Frakes
I love Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and this is story is adapted from it. The illustrations are great in this book because they really add to the text. For example, you can tell what is going on with the fox based on the color of the illustrations like when the fox is in color when he is being sly and trying to trick the rooster, but he is in all black when he is trying to hunt and kill the rooster. This is an interesting aspect to the story and really makes me understand how sophisticate...more
Lauren Stoolfire
This story is adapted from The Nun’s Priest’s Tale of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Chanticleer, a rooster, is tricked by a fox and is almost eaten, but he uses his own tricks on the fox to escape. The illustrations are very bright and are quite detailed, in fact in the about the author section it says that Cooney studied illuminated manuscripts for inspiration. I also found it interesting that some pages are full color whereas some are black and white with an accentuating color to set it off. The...more
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
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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
More about Geoffrey Chaucer...
The Canterbury Tales The Riverside Chaucer Troilus and Criseyde The Canterbury Tales: Nine Tales and the General Prologue: Authoritative Text, Sources and Backgrounds, Criticism The Wife of Bath

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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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