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The Little Red Hen Big Book

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  318 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
A fresh retelling by Byron Barton of the well-loved story of the little red hen who grows grain, threshes wheat, and feeds her chicks--all by herself, without any help from her lazy friends.

Mr. Barton's simple words, bold images, and imaginative use of color have made his many picture book perennial favorites with young children.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 3rd 1994 by HarperFestival (first published May 12th 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 28, 2015 Siobhan rated it liked it
A wonderful read from my childhood, one I’d certainly suggest for other youngsters. Whilst it is not my all-time favourite childhood read I can still recall all the details of this one meaning it certainly left a lasting impression upon my young mind.

And isn’t that what we want with children’s books, for them to leave a positive lasting impression?
May 15, 2014 June rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: toddler caregivers
I like Galdone's version better, but this has a shorter text and bright pictures for a toddler storytime. Plus, my branch has it in a big book format which works well with large groups. 5/22/12

Used this for a garden story time since I had 2 day cares show for preschool story time.
Nov 03, 2016 E.S. rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, folktale
Byron Barton writes and illustrates The Little Red Hen, a funny beast tale about a little red hen and her three little chicks who do all of the work growing wheat and making it into bread. The little red hen has three friends, a pig, a duck, and a cat, all who decide not to help the little red hen plant seeds, cut the wheat, thresh the wheat, grind the wheat into flour, and make the flour into bread, but when the little red hen asks if her three friends would like to help her eat the bread, they ...more
Katie DeBrisco
Title: The Little Red Hen
Author: Byron Barton
Illustrator: Byron Barton
Genre: European Folk Tale
Theme(s): Teamwork is important; if you want to do something, make sure you don't let anyone stand in your way (determination); helping others is important; work hard and then receive

Opening line/Sentence: “Once there were four friends- a pig, a duck, a cat and a little red hen.”

Brief Book Summary: This book is about a little red hen who wants help from her animal friends to make bread. However, her
Dec 08, 2009 Stephene rated it really liked it
Pre-K to 1st
Barton's rendition of this classic tale includes a bold, bright palette of colors and drawings reminiscent of child-like compositions. Children will be drawn to the geometric shapes and symmetry present on nearly every page. Text is presented in large font, with only a line or two on each page. Vocabulary is targeted towards kindergarteners and first graders, and the whole book with all of these components would appeal to children of this age group. The moral of the story is the same
Brittany Wood
The Little Red Hen includes a bold, bright palette of colors and drawings. Children will be drawn to the geometric shapes and symmetry present on nearly every page. Text is presented in large font, with only a line or two on each page. Vocabulary is targeted towards kindergarteners and first graders, and the whole book with all of these components would appeal to children of this age group. The moral of the story is the same as in most reproductions of this classic--you reap what you sow, and ...more
Children can learn about the processes that are necessary for food to go from being grown in the ground, to ready to eat on the table. This version of the story differs from the original Little Red Hen since the hen in this tale has three baby chicks. After finding seeds, the hen goes through the process of planting, cutting, threshing, grinding, and baking to make bread. All the while, her friends duck, cat, and pig refuse to help with the work. By the end of the story, the three animals are ...more
Jazzmin Baldwin
Mar 31, 2015 Jazzmin Baldwin rated it liked it
Of course we all love the Little Red Hen story but I really enjoyed the vocabulary and illustration in this story. I also accepted the fact that she only shared with her babies. It teaches children that everyone will give you a chance to help out and in return you will get help as well. it also teaches them that everyone does not have to share but they do need to be kind. and the red hen did so. they were not paying attention to all her hard work. great for social and emotional domain. also ...more
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
(Note: I review books for use in speech/language therapy and for teachers and parents who work with speech/language impaired children.)

Kids love this board book version of the classic story The Little Red Hen. Like other Byron Barton titles, this book is full of bright, colorful and simplistic pictures that kids really enjoy. I have used this book to target a variety of speech and language goals in the past.
For ideas on how you can use this book in speech/language therapy, see the full review on
Mar 31, 2015 Nefertiti rated it really liked it
This book can teach children work ethic skills, and the importance of taking initiative in efforts to get things done. This can also teach children about the importance of "fairness" because it was unfair for the red hen to do all the work but then have the others reap the benefits. The illustrations were not that interesting but I liked this book and would recommend it for teachers of pre k through second grade.
Bunty Jah
Mar 31, 2015 Bunty Jah rated it liked it
The little red hen is a book that's been around for generations. This book teaches children to take initiative to do things on their own. Loved the repitition of words and flow of the story. Glad at the end the hen did not share with the pig, cat and dog since they did not help her. I love reading this story to my girls and they enjoy retelling the story to me. Child will also learn new vocabulary words in this book.
Social/emotional development, sharing, communication/language, problem-solving skills. This book can be used to teach children about sharing, taking responsibility/work and a host of other topics. The Little Red Hen works diligently to provide for herself but her friends have other plans and choose not to help her but they want her to share the benefits of her labor. Many discussions and lessons can be taught and learned from this story.
The Little Red Hen is a classic story that I remember as a child. It has farm animals and a good message about helping, working, and what it means to be a good friend. This particular version of the Little Red Hen is a good Spanish version that I used for Spanish and bilingual story time programs with a chicken/chick/rooster theme. I used this as a participation story in which I had kids repeat the "Not I" parts. It was fun.
In this book, the little hen manages to do everything on the farm without any help from her pig, duck, and cat friends. When the little hen finished all the tasks and bakes the bread, she doesn't share it with anyone but her chicks. This book contains several shapes which we would be useful in teaching a lesson about 2-D or plane geometric figures. I would also use this book to show students they should treat others how they would like to be treated.
Kenia Soto
Great Great Great book! I have read many versions to this book but particularly like this one because of the numerous concepts that can be taught using it. There are many color and shapes throughout the book. The children can even talk about alternate endings. It can be use to teach about how the Hen felt when her friends refused to help her. It also have repetitive words for the children to join as the teacher is reading. I would also incorporate a cooking lesson to go with this book.
Josiah Smith
Apr 07, 2015 Josiah Smith rated it really liked it
A fun little story involving a little red hen and her friends. The story is a colourful and creative tale of a chicken finding seeds and turning them into bread all the while her lazy friends don't want to help out. It is a social emotional story that shows the benefits of helping others. The book is brightly coloured and the illustrations seem to draw children in. A lesson in friendship and being a team player.
Katie Fitzgerald
Read at Baby/Toddler Story Time on 3/29/11:

Read at Family Story Time on 7/18/11:

Read at Baby/Toddler Lap Time on 9/16/11:

Read during preschool class visit on 11/21/12:
Nov 12, 2015 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Little Red Hen book. The pictures are colorful and bold and simple. I like the way it story goes through the steps of planting, growing, harvesting, threshing, grinding, mixing, and baking. I like to show the Bread book by Claire Llewellyn with it and show pictures of what a field of wheat looks like and how many foods are made with wheat. I have wheat seeds I show them so they can see how hard they are.
Dianna Adams-skafi
I feel in love with this book because it introduced children to be mindful and courtesy to people because you might never know when you might want or need their assisstance. It furthermore introduce the morality of being kind and helpful to others because if you don't you just might lose out on something good. if you GIVE GOD said that you will RECEIVE
Oct 02, 2011 jacky rated it liked it
I asked one of our children's librarians to pick out some toddler appropriate fairy tales and mentioned Barton in particular. I didn't know I knew this tale until I started to read it. Its a great one for the very young. It has bold illustrations with familiar farm animals. It has a repetitive structure to follow along or join in. And, it teachers a little moral of the reward of work.
Elise Xuereb
Mar 29, 2015 Elise Xuereb rated it it was amazing
This version of The Little Red Hen by Byron Barton is a retold story. He has added many different colorful characters. The illustrations show how meaningful children's paintings can be. These bright colors and simple forms grab the attention of children to listen. It shows children that helping one another at first may be hard work, but in the end all are rewarded.

Genre: Gardening
Leila T.
Oct 03, 2011 Leila T. rated it liked it
I get that this is a moral-of-the-story book, but I still feel like it could have been a more powerful ending if the little red hen had shown compassion + magnanimity toward her friends, instead of having a serves-you-right tone. The little kid loves it, though, and knows most of the text off by heart.
Roslyn Ross
Mar 12, 2015 Roslyn Ross rated it did not like it
-The little red hen does not explain at the end why she will not share the bread with her unhelpful friends.
-And she has three chicks who do nothing in the book and serve no purpose except as an excuse for her not sharing the bread that doesn't actually work.
Destiny Coleman
The Little Red Hen Big Book is a very vivid book. This book will teaches children about responsibilities. This book can also allow to teach about planting, farming or animals as well. Great book for children 3 to 6 years old.
Sep 17, 2015 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
So I wasn't in love with this book. I do love the story of the Little Red Hen. And the book was true to the story. I just really didn't like the art style. With so many versions of this story, I am sure I can find one that has better art.
Apr 13, 2012 Patricia rated it it was amazing
What a sweet, simple telling of this timeless story of enjoying the fruits of one's labor. I'll definitely be using it in class with my younger grades students again!
Jan 25, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Preschoolers
Shelves: picture-book
Barton's trademark bold pictures and a classic reselling of the old fairy tale. He breaks up the "no" lines by changing the order the friends say it in, but it makes a bit less smooth to read.
Feb 08, 2012 kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely children's book about helping. Bright colors and recognizable shapes mean this will be a hit during story time. Will use with threes and fours.
Dec 27, 2012 Jenny rated it liked it
A very simplified telling of the classic story, with cute pictures. My daycare kids could understand the moral of the story.
Jun 16, 2010 Jacob rated it really liked it
Mommy calls this "The little vindictive hen" but I don't know what that means. I love it when she quacks and squeals so I make her read this to me all the time.
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