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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  401 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
We all know the joke. We've all told it. Kids love to tell it over and over and over again, with as many different punch lines as possible. And now we've found out that famous award-winning artists love to tell the joke too—and they have some wacky and downright hilarious ideas about why that chicken really did cross the road. Mo Willems's chicken confesses his motives to ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 21st 2006 by Dial Books (first published 2006)
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Simply brilliant. 14 different illustrators answered the old riddle "Why did the chicken cross the road?" in 14 different ways. There's so much you could do with this in the classroom.
Nov 12, 2007 Kimberli rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Get ready for lots of laughs when you read Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? Believe me, you are in for a real treat because fourteen of the most funniest and talented artists fabricated their own illustrations about the age-old chicken crossing the road joke. There aren’t many words in the book, however the pictures leave much to the imagination. Several selections are sweet and whimsical like Vladimir Radunsky’s and Jerry Pinkey’s. Others have sly twists on the joke's words like Mo Willems’ ...more
Oct 08, 2007 Deana rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a big year for poultry. The first of two avian stories had me laughing out loud. Agee gives a bevy of highly talented children’s illustrators free plume to answer the age-old question- “Why did the chicken cross the road?” They all succeed with multi-layered humor that will appeal to both adults and kids. This book also offers an excellent chance to get to know some of the best authors/illustrators in contemporary children’s literature.
Mar 18, 2015 Pamela rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Pretty interesting. I couldn't quite believe I was spending all this time reading bout CHICKENS!! But I kept reading.
May 22, 2008 Sara rated it really liked it
This is a great picture book! Each page has a different picture book illustrator answering the main question. Classic!
Lauren Wenberg
Feb 20, 2013 Lauren Wenberg rated it it was amazing
Use for engaging boys and girls that like joke books. Can use for writing genre study. Great pictures. Encourages deep and unique thinking.
I'd say this isn't really a children's book, although my five year old found it hilarious. It's a sampler of picture book artists, and a very good one at that. Seeing them all illustrate the same theme gives you a very good idea of each artist's personality, humor, style and skill. Many of our favorites were included in this book: David Catrow, Marla Frazee, Jerry Pinkney, David Shannon, and a couple of unfamiliar ones got me intrigued: Judy Schachner and Chris Sheban.
Jan 23, 2013 Amanda rated it did not like it
I saw many people's high reviews of the book, but I must say that I absolutely hated it. Although the book has a very juvenile theme to it (the chicken and the road joke), and although the book has a definite kid-friendly look to it, it does nothing to grab a child's attention. The illustrations in the book are so dark and "adult" that I found many kids had a hard time feeling interested. The themes of the book (ex: "why did the chicken cross the road? Ask the mutated zombie chickens from Mars!) ...more
Sep 14, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-favorite
As an elementary librarian I love using this book when talking about illustrators. The students and I enjoy some silly answers to the age old question, which in this case is the title, and then we discuss which chickens are our favorite and why. It is always fun for students to see some of their favorite illustrators in different ways.

**other good books for lessons on illustrators:
The Rough-Faced Girl by Rafe Martin vs. No David! By David Shannon, both illustrated by David Shannon. They can har
Nov 20, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, humor, 2014
This is an unusual book that offers thirteen different illustrators' takes on the classic joke. Each two-page spread has a different style, theme, and answer to the question and while it's not really a 'read aloud'-kind of story, it certainly is fun to look at.

As we perused the pages, we tried not to look at the names to see if we could guess which illustrator created which page. Some, like David Catrow and Mo Willems, were immediately recognizable, whereas others were less familiar to us. We r
Dec 09, 2014 Libby rated it it was amazing
This one is awesome. It's similar to another book we've loved, where different illustrators offer knock-knock jokes (and I need to check whether the two are from the same publisher), but in this one, each illustrator offers his or her own take on the age-old question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

Because it relies so heavily on the illustrations, all three of my kids could soon read it to themselves, and they did--over and over.

I thought it was a cute book, but my favorite part was my si
Rosa Cline
Jan 19, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it did not like it
Shelves: kids
If you have an off sense of humor you will like this book. It's more of a picture book than a story book so if you want something to read to a young reader this isn't the book for you. I will give credit as the illustrations are all from different people. So each page is done differently than the others. Sometimes, to me were overwhelming, to much to the page but if you like art and modern 'anything goes' then you will love the illustrations. I started reading-looking at this with my 2 year old ...more
Jul 05, 2010 Erin rated it liked it
I loved looking at the illustrations from 14 different artists; each illustrated one reason why the Chicken might have crossed the road. The jokes were funny, but it was even more exciting to see how each illustrator's style (both in jokes and in art) was different.
Each picture offers a lot of opportunity for discussion, for encouraging kids to draw their own answer to that age-old question, or to have kids explore a variety of illustrators all in one book. Kids who like jokes or art should enjo
Olivia KK
Sep 22, 2012 Olivia KK rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-alouds
I thought the pictures were cute. Just ask the zombies what they doing to make the chicken cross the road! (: or why the fox invited her! my fifth grade teacher read it to us in reading and she thought that kids in my class would like the zombie chickens! This was such a cute book! I hope that i get the book someday so i could have a good laugh and remember when i first read it. This book just brings a laugh to whoever reads it! If you are having a bad day, these pictures will make you laugh out ...more
14 childrens' illustrators, take a shot at answering the question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Each page jumps from style to style, some cartoony, some more classically illustrated.

Why I started it: My cousin mentioned on her blog that this was a favorite at their house, so I wanted to check it out.

Why I finished it: Everyone has their own answer of why the chicken crossed the road... and it's great to see 14 different answers in short succession.
Angela Hutchinson
This is a unique book with several illustrators that poses the old question "Why did the chicken cross the road?". At the end of the book, it tells why the artists cross road which I thought was funny and entertaining. Each illustration is been produced by a different artist which brings more diversity to the book. This would be a good "just for fun" book to read and discuss with the students. After the discussion, the students could write about reasons they would cross the road.
Jade Detzer
Sep 23, 2014 Jade Detzer rated it really liked it
This book is hilarious. It's great to show the illustrations to children and full of color. Each artist created a picture to show their response as to why the chicken crossed the road. This book would be great for a writing lesson about alternate endings to a story. Even though the story was short and started all the same, each illustrator chose a different ending that worked best for himself. Children can do the same thing in their writing.
Anna Loeppky
Oct 01, 2013 Anna Loeppky rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely adorable! It gives different reasons as to the age old question of "why did the chicken crossed the road?" This book has funny reasons why and it has wonderful illustration. Generally I believe that this book is good for all ages, but specifically it would be good for elementary students.
Mrs. C
Nov 03, 2007 Mrs. C rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hilarious
Second graders LOVED the jokes in Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? We especially liked seeing the jokes written by our favorite authors and illustrators, like Tedd Arnold, Mo Willems, and David Shannon. We even wrote our own "Why did the..." jokes and created a second grade joke book to display in the library!
Danielle Trevino
Jan 24, 2013 Danielle Trevino rated it it was ok
Although this book was very beautifully illustrated, I do not feel that it would be able to hold a child's attention for very long. It may be a good book just to put in a personal library for a young child to look at their own leisure, but if this was used for a themed lesson to read to a classroom may not be a good idea.
Jan 10, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok
This is a cute book, but I'm judging it on its readability to a class. It's up for the NC Children's Book Award, and it's practically impossible to use as a read-aloud. It would be great as a one on one book, if you really had the time to look at the illustrations on each page. I'll be surprised if this one wins the NC award.
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
This style of book is always interesting- different artists are given the same question and form their response. Here, 14 children's book illustrators answer that perennial question - Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? All answered in their own style, and with their own response of course. Some I didn't quite understand. I do love the concept of mutated zombie chickens! Fun.
Jul 17, 2015 Joshua rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
A collection of different author/illustrators answers to the classic questions. Some are funny, some are ridiculous, some are beautiful. It's mostly wordless, so it's an easy book for little kids to have fun with.
The answer to the age old question as told through the unique and distint illustrations of 14 illustrators, including Mo Willems, Jon Agee and Mary Grandpre, amongst others. Each illustrator puts their own spin on the answer to this question. Highly recommend!
Sep 25, 2015 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book was awesome! 14 illustrators take on the age-old question in one fabulous picture book. This book would be so fun after (or before) studies of authors/illustrators, to talk about styles. Invite your students to answer the question and develop their own clear style in an art project.
Mrs Bond
Mar 10, 2009 Mrs Bond rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebook
I read this a few years ago and just didn't get it. My son picked this up during the last library visit, and I really enjoyed it. In 2008 gave it 2 starts, 2011 I'd give it 4, 2o I'll split the difference and rate it 3.
Ha, this is pretty fun/funny! I loved looking at all of the artists' interpretations - some of which I knew and some I didn't. Particularly enjoyed Mo Willems, Jon Agee, Jerry Pinkney, Chris Sheban, and my favorite was Harry Bliss and the mutated zombie chickens from Mars!
LaRaie Zimm
Aug 13, 2013 LaRaie Zimm rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent, gorgeous, inventive, funny, and all around adorable. A collaborative effort with a stunning result. Bravo! Recommend to children 3+, or whenever it is that they start to like this joke.
Aug 12, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
This was a super-fun, super-clever concept book that showcases the illustration styles of different children's book illustrators. I enjoyed it, but the book doesn't quite cross the road to my must-buy list.
Jun 25, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the style of Nursery Rhyme Comics and Comics Squad: Recess, this book has a variety of well-known artists share their responses to a prompt, and in this case it is the title's familiar question. I love seeing the unique results, and I know my students will enjoy this as well.
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