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The Red Hen

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  206 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
In this sparkling version of a classic tale, Red Hen finds a recipe for a Simply Splendid Cake and asks her friends the cat, the rat, and the frog to help with the preparations. But it seems as though her friends want no part in the cake until it's ready to eat. Will they decide to pitch in, or let Red Hen do all of the hard work?
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Roaring Brook Press
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The Little Red Hen Big Book by Paul GaldoneThe Little Red Hen by Diane MuldrowArmadilly Chili by Helen KettemanGator Gumbo by Candace FlemingManana, Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul
The Little Red Hen
15th out of 47 books — 9 voters
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52nd out of 100 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

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The classic story of "The Little Red Hen" gets an update in The Red Hen, and the little red hen bakes a cake instead of a loaf of bread presumably because modern children probably don't know what threshing or milling is and wouldn't understand why someone would go through the trouble to bake a loaf of bread rather than buying one at the grocery store.

So instead of:
"Who will help me plant the wheat?" "Not I. Not I. Not I." "Then I'll do it myself."
"Who will help me cut the wheat?" "Not I. Not I
Allison Parker
Mar 04, 2011 Allison Parker rated it liked it
The classic tale gets a jolt of new energy with Emberley's signature vivid colors and zany eyes. The fun illustrations will make this a good choice for sharing this book in storytime. The story's phrasing is changed just a bit with a frog that says "Ribbit" instead of "Not I"; I could have used a little bit more of a twist in the storytelling. Still, a worthy retelling.
The Library Lady
Dec 14, 2010 The Library Lady rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Fun for the artwork, otherwise nothing new here except for a frog taking the place of the usual mouse. If you're an Emberly fan, fine, but there are nicer versions by Byron Barton, Paul Galdone and a host of others. And Heather Forrest's telling on her recording "Sing Me A Story" has loads of young child appeal.
Dec 03, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
I adore the Emberley's illustrations and their take on the Little Red Hen story is fine, but I find I prefer and ending in which the Hen finds a way to share what she makes and the animals find a way to help - as in Philemon Sturges' Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza. This just ended with an "and she did."
Mar 31, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
The Red Hen is a little more updated version of the well-known story of The Little Red Hen. In this story the hen is making a cake and asks her friends to help. None of her friends are willing to help Red Hen make the cake. This all changes when it is time to eat. After the cake is finished, all Red Hen's friends want to help her eat the cake. Red Hen reminds them how they did not help, and should not receive the treat. This would be good to introduce to students when they are not wanting to hel ...more
Aug 11, 2015 Kerry rated it it was amazing
On the summer county reading list for pre-k. Read with my 2yo and 4yo. GREAT book about learning the importance of hard work reaping the rewards. After reading this book, we had an age-appropriate political discussion and used it throughout the week pointing out what she did/didn't "earn" based on her efforts. I thought it taught a very important lesson in a simple, cute way.
Mar 30, 2012 Jess rated it liked it
Recommends it for: preschool through 1st; story times
Recommended to Jess by: browsing
Retelling of The Little Red hen with a cat, rat, and frog. And yeah, the Hen's not sharing.

The illustrations are fab for story times: bold, large, and fun.

Short & sweet version of the tale that would work well for story time & also comparisons of different versions of this tale. Might be good with The Little Red Hen, where she bakes a pizza. In that book, she shares the pizza, but the other animals make it up to her by cleaning the kitchen and washing the dishes.

Readaloud notes: Rebecca
Dec 19, 2012 Treasa rated it really liked it
Enjoyable retelling of the story of the little red hen. This time, instead of making bread, the hen is baking a cake, which the children I read it to really enjoyed - it was something some of them had done and they could all imagine doing. They also enjoyed the frog's line - "Bribbit" - instead of "Not I." Since most of them had heard the standard story before, they liked that this one was a little different. And they enjoyed the very colorful illustrations.

Interestingly enough, they were all in
Jan 22, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
This is a good retelling of the story, one that could be used in storytime due to the brevity of words. I like to find folk and fairy tales that are easy enough to share with preschoolers, but still encompass the whole of the story. I do agree with Mary, the ending would be "nicer" if the hen found a way to share at the end, but alas, life isn't always like that and sometimes it's good for kids to see that.
Jul 26, 2015 Naomi rated it did not like it
How many different ways can you do Stone Soup? With this book, add one more to that list. In fact, when I first read this, I had to double check because I thought I had already read it. Illustrations couldn't even save it. Recipe at the end for cake. B-O-R-I-N-G.
Apr 25, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun take on the classic story of "The Little Red Hen." We have read Ed Emberley's book Go Away, Big Green Monster! many times and love it, so whenever we find one of his stories, we are excited. We enjoyed the vibrant illustrations and the repetitive narrative. Each of us took a part for the dialogue and we all laughed a lot while reading this book. I also like that this is another father-daughter collaboration with Rebecca Emberley.
Miss Sarah
Mar 04, 2016 Miss Sarah rated it it was ok
red hen is making a cake but no one wants to help. Should you get to eat the cake if you haven't worked to make it? All characters and pictures made out of brightly colored shapes. Ok but I didn't love it.
Mar 13, 2014 Vicki rated it really liked it
The illustrations in this book are bright colorful and a bit on the crazy side! The text is quite simple and very repetitive, making it a great read aloud with the group joining in.
Good story that works well at storytimes.

BUT let down by the poor illustrations - ripped collage, that are difficult to recognise what is things are.
Liz Todd
Fun book for dramatizing. Very simple and repetitive. True to the "original," with Emberley illustratations.
I always liked this fable as a kid, and I find Emberleys' version delightful. My preschool group were fans as well, one proclaiming that he "really liked that story!" The hen makes a cake instead of bread in this version, which probably makes it more immediately relatable to kids' today. I love the cut-out illustrations - the colors combined with the proportions given the characters a kind of zany quality to them
Jun 29, 2016 Kayla added it
(i actually didnt read this one, i just read a story called the red hen and goodreads didnt have it)
So much yes to this re-telling of the Little Red Hen, especially with the colorful illustrations!
Nov 22, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: chapel, kids, fun
This is cute. I especially loved the collage picture looking past the back of the hen's head.
Sarah Shufelt
In their second collaborative effort, the father-daughter team of Rebecca and Ed Emberley has once again achieved success with their book The Red Hen. In this simplified version of the classic tale of The Little Red Hen the hen makes a cake. The cat, rat, and frog are not helpful when there is work to be done but they wish to reap the benefits of the completed confection. The simple text would appeal to young readers and the colorful and bold illustrations that leap off the pages are engaging f ...more
Stacy Renee
Moral of the story: If you want to help eat the cake you better help make the cake!
Aug 05, 2016 Jodee rated it liked it
Shelves: tessa
Good for the red hen in the end. Way to teach the others a lesson!
Nov 10, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: b-age-4
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2016 Casandria rated it really liked it
A twist on the old folk tale (she bakes a cake...), with some really interesting illustrations.
Katie Bednark
Illustrations were the best part
Erin Gunderson
A nice adaptation of the story of the little red hen. I like the illustrations. I think I'm going to use this one during my color theme for storytime.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
You know this one. The hen isn’t little and she’s baking a cake, not bread, and it’s the cat and the rat and the frog who aren’t helping her, but you know this story.

Funny little illustrations to go with this nice version of the familiar story. And a recipe for a splendid cake, too.

“’Now I have everything we need, who will help me mix the cake?’ she said.
‘Not I,’ said the cat.
‘Not I,’ said the rat.
‘Bribbit,’ said the frog.”

Feb 10, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Rebecca and Ed Emberley make a fabulous team in this sassy retelling of the Little Red Hen. Bright, beautiful cutouts are sure to keep all eyes on the book, while the repetitive story spins toward its familiar ending. This time around the hen is making a cake, while a rat, cat, and frog withhold assistance. Great for preschool story time!
Jess Brown
I like Byron Barton's better, but this take is ok, too. I was really hoping for a bit of a twist on the traditional tale, but this one sticks to the basics. The best part is the recipe included in the back. I think that recipes in books are such a delicious surprise! I hope families really do try some of these out!
Jul 03, 2012 Dionne rated it it was amazing
Great revised version of the classic tale. Especially the nice addition of the cake recipe at the end of the book that the Red Hen used for her cake recipe. I made the cake and it was actually quite good, considering I don't usually like yellow cake. Great fun to read with kids and then make the cake together.
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