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The Little Red Hen (Folk Tale Classics Series)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  1,356 ratings  ·  102 reviews
The little red hen had to do all the work herself, from planting wheat to baking the cake, while her three friends, the cat, the dog, and the mouse, slept away the day in lazy contentment.

Paul Galdone has created the perfect world for his characters - an abandoned Vermont farmhouse furnished with everything from a woodburning stove to an antique watering can. Trying to mai
Hardcover, 38 pages
Published 1973 by Clarion Books
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Casey Mcguire
Main Characters: Hen, Cat, Dog, and Mouse
Setting: The setting takes place in the animals' cozy little house.

Grade/Interest Level: Primary
Reading Level: 510L
Genre: Traditional Literature


The Little Red Hen, written by Paul Galdone, is a story about four animals (Hen, Cat, Dog, and Mouse) living together in a cozy little house. Cat, Dog, and Mouse like to spend their days being lazy and sleeping, which causes Hen to do all of the work around the home. While gardening, Hen asks which of her
Sara Andrews
The old folktale “The Little Red Hen” serves at as a great teaching tool. It is about an ambitious little, red hen who wants to grow wheat and asks her friends to help her. “Not I,” said the cat. “Not I,” said the dog. “Not I,” said the mouse. The hen continues to do chores and ask for help. Her friends give her the same response: “Not I.” Finally, it is time to bake the bread from which she grew the wheat and milled the flour. Her friends still do not wish to help. Now it is time to eat and enj ...more
This book is great for early readers or young listeners because many of the phrases are repeated time after time again, developing phonemic awareness. The Little Red Hen is a hard-working character who finds seeds, plants them, mends the garden, cuts the wheat, takes the wheat to mill to be turned to flour, and then bakes a cake and enjoys it all to herself. Throughout the tale, the Hen asks for help but her housemates (Cat, Dog, & Mouse) are too lazy too attend. The best thing about this bo ...more
Alicia Ard
"The Little Red Hen" is a cute story about a house of animals that live together. The cat, dog, and mouse are all very lazy and leave all of the chores to be done by the little red hen. Chores included tending to the wheat in the garden, and that took many careful steps. Without help, the hen took care of the wheat until it grew full enough to be cut and milled into flour for a cake. She made the cake all by herself. When it was time to eat it, the other members of the house wanted to help her e ...more
This is a book we have read over and over. Ellie can now read it by herself!
Ashley Correll
This story is about a little red hen who lives with a dog, cat, and mouse who are extremely lazy and do absolutly nothing to help out hen around the house. Hen is treated like Cinderella. Throughout the story hen is preparing to make and bake a cake. when the cake is finally done suddenly dog, cat, and mouse want to eat it, even though didn't help. Hen said "since i made it by myself, then I'm gonna eat it all by myself." The others did not get one bite. In conclusion, Hen always had eager helpe ...more
Lucy Hall
Title: The Little Red Hen
Author: Paul Galdone
Genre: Fable
Opening line/sentence:
(Once upon a time
a cat and a dog and a mouse
and a little red hen
all lived together in a cozy little house)
Brief Book Summary: (A story of a hard-working hen who couldn't get the other animals to help her with housework. When it was time to enjoy the fruit of her hard work, the other three lazy animals wanted to have a share but were not allowed to because they refused to help. The hen teaches them a lesson
What makes this version of the classic "Little Red Hen" tale so great are these wonderful illustrations. Everyone is familiar with the've got your animals who live together (the cat, dog, mouse and hen) and none of them are interested in doing any of the household chores except the hardworking hen. She toils away all day and then decides to teach them a lesson. While they nap and lounge, she makes a delicious cake (and takes from scratch to a whole new level!).

Surprise, surprise!
Tonya Nelson
Summary: This story is about The Little Red Hen, Cat, Dog, and Mouse. They live in a cozy little house where most of the characters spend being lazy and sleeping. Hen does all of the work and throughout the story asks her friends who will help her. “Not I” is the usual response as Hen continues to do all of the work by herself. At the end, she eats the cake she made all by herself because she had to do all of the work herself. Seeing Hen eat the cake all by herself helped the other characters se ...more
This stay at home mom loves this classic children's story about a mama hen that always does all the work by herself and finally decides to reap all the reward by herself, too. This is a great story for children who naturally take advantage of their parents. Being appreciative and helpful are values that are not always natural and must be taught.
Tanya Bornstein
I love this book! The little red hen does all the work while the lazy animals just want to sleep. This book is great to teach children that is always better to help out. There is a great moral to this stort and I know your children will love it!

Paul Galdone:
In his mid-40s that he illustrated his first children's book.From 1951 until his death in 1986 at age 79, he illustrated and/or wrote more than 300 children's books. Paul Galdone may be best remembered for his versions of traditional folk tal
The Little Red Hen is badass. I love the message: don't feed slacker friends who don't do their share.I am suprised the Tea Party hasn't adopted this book as a "must read" for children. Hmm...
I had only ever red the Spanish version (La Gallinita Roja), but was curious when I saw this copy. I still feel the Spanish version was better, but the overall plot is the same and so it is still a very good story. It's about a hard working little hen who does all the house chores without help from her roommates. Eventually she makes a cake and decides to not share, since no one else shared in the work. This taught her companions that they should help out once in a while....hard work can be rewa ...more
Marissa Gunter
I really liked this book. I think it can show young readers how important it is to help out.
Meredith Trotter
Publication: 1985

Grade/Age: PreK-5th grade

Annotation: The classic story of the little red hen who asks other animals in the barnyard to help make fresh bread. Teaches students about the values of hard work and helping others.

Themes: The rewards of hard work and perseverance, the rewards of helping others

Ways to use the book:

Have students do a Readers Theater with this book.

Good for lessons about sharing and helping.

Farm Theme: This story can definitely be incorporated in a farm themed unit, and
Example #2 Little Red Hen asks for help planting the wheat, but no one will help her
Book Information: Title: The Little Red Hen; Author: Paul Galdone; Place of Publication: New York, NY; Date: Renewed 2001; Pages: 40
Evidence for Evaluation: The Little Red Hen lives with the cat, mouse, and dog, all of whom are very lazy. Not one of them will help her with the chores or planting the wheat she stumbled across. The hen ends of baking the cake all by herself, as no one want to get up to help. When t
The Little Red Hen is a book about helping out and fairness. In this story the Hen does all the chores around the house while her friends rests all day everyday. One day the Hen decides she wants to make a cake and asks her friends whether they would like to help, but they all decline. When cake was finished and the aroma filled the air, all of Hen's wanted to partake in helping eat the cake. The Little Red Hen felt she shouldn't have to share the cake because she did all the work; so she ate th ...more
Comfort Olajide
I read this book, it is all about a little Red Hen, a Cat, a Dog, and a Mouse they all live under one roof. The Red Hen was doing all the work in the house while the others were lazy sleeping and when the Red Hen asked if they can help her they will say Not I, and when the Red Hen found some seeds, she asked her friends if they will help her to plant the seeds the friends said, Not I each. So, the little Red Hen planted the wheat seeds, harvet the wheat, grind the wheat and knead the wheat flour ...more
"The Little Red Hen" is a classic tale beginning with "Once upon a time". A little red hen, a cat, a dog, and a mouse all live together in a cozy little house. When there is work to be done, the hen is the only one who performs. One day while hoeing in the garden she discovers some grains of wheat. When she asks her housemates for help in planting, tending, and harvesting the wheat none of them will stir from their naps to help. Each one, each time repeats "Not I." Paul Galdone's illustrations a ...more
This is a classic tale involving the moral of you reap what you sow. The hen does all of the chores in the house, and when it's time to eat the cake that she baked, she gives none of the other animals some and eats it all herself. This story could either be used in preschool or around second grade. If used in preschool, the teacher could focus on the moral of the story. In second grade, the focus could be on the fact that it's a folktale and what makes it that genre.
Ann Ferber
Not many books can beat "The Little Red Hen." This book has great illustrations and great words. It is one of those books that is catchy and memorable. The moral of the story is that you get what you give in life. It also speaks of helping others and if you don't you can't always expect others to help you. This would be a great story to read during a unit on "responsibility." We could give examples in class on how to help each other both in school and our families at home.
Roslyn Ross
-As usual the little red hen is passive aggressive rather than clear, honest, and assertive about getting her needs met
-She makes a cake instead of bread
-The book ends with her eating the entire cake by herself, but after that she does have 3 good little helpers--basically people who were punished for not helping and then rewarded for helping.
-Book confuses the issues at hand--the emotional need for help and support vs the exchange of one's labor for payment.
Shelby Dennis
I loved the moral idea of the story. It shows how things dont come to those who sit around and do nothing. It introduces responsibilities to children and how they each help play an important part in the home. I thought the look on the animals faces were priceless at the end of the book. They wanted to make sure that they do whatever that needs to be done around the house so, they wont miss out on any treats anymore as portrayed at the end of the book. I would read this book to children from 2 1/ ...more
"The Little Red Hen" is a story about a hen doing all the work to make the bread. But then at the end of the story all her friends want to eat the bread with her. THis would be a good book to teach students they have to help throughout the whole process to get anything in the end. Students could write aversion where all the hen's friends helped her make the bread.
This story has been a great read-aloud for my Kinders and 1st graders. They love to join in on the "Not I" sections and it leads to some really neat discussions with them. On the title page is a drawing of wheat and when I ask them if they can tell me what it is, many of them will tell me it's corn. This can be a great tie-in for a unit on where food comes from (to relate that it doesn't just miraculously appear on a shelf at Wal-Mart). The other great discussion that has come up is over the des ...more
Tanisha James
This oldie but goody is nicely illustrated. When the hen ask for help from her friends no one wants to help. Reading "The Little Red Hen" can build a platform for a discussion on how to problem solve and talk about what we could do as the Little Red Hen to help. The children can also act out the activities the Hen performed thorough out the book.
Michelle Smith
Great book to teach children ages 3-8 to do the right thing and how hard work always pays off. The ending will make you and your children smile. Silly book with fantastic pictures to go along with it. This one will be read to my students each year. Great lesson: do the right thing even when no one is watching.
Part of "National Chicken Month" Storytime. The kids thought she was mean for not sharing the cake, which was pretty funny. It's a classic for a reason.

(Just because I like to do things old school (and I can), the kids actually watched this on a 16mm film strip. So fun to see the confusion caused by rewinding.)
Megan Kelly
This is a great book for teaching children about the rewards of hard work. It shows that if you put time and effort into something then you can be rewarded. It also teaches kids that working in groups can make a job go quicker. The pictures in the book are detailed and colorful and add to the overall story.
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Paul Galdone (1907 - November 7, 1986) was a children's literature author and illustrator. He was born in Budapest and he emigrated to the United States in 1921. He studied art at the Art Student's League and New York School for Industrial Design. He served for the US Army during world War II.

He illustrated nearly all of Eve Titus' books including, Basil of Baker Street series which was translated
More about Paul Galdone...

Other Books in the Series

Folk Tale Classics Series (7 books)
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • The Gingerbread Boy
  • The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
  • The Three Little Pigs Book & CD
  • Three Little Kittens
  • The Three Bears

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