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Blue Chicken

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,036 ratings  ·  293 reviews
In this deceptively simple picture book, author-illustrator Deborah Freedman has created an irresistible character that springs to life and wreaks havoc in a farmyard with a pot of blue paint. The innocent chicken just wants to help, but things get worse and worse-and bluer and bluer--the more she tries. Playing with colors and perspective, and using minimal text, this ...more
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,036 ratings  ·  293 reviews


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Kathryn
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Blue Chicken is certainly an adorable and fun book visually. The Blue Chicken is especially endearing and it's so captivating when everything turns blue. I'm not sure the story itself really won me over. It started out so cute, but all those disgruntled farm animals just getting mad about everything seemed to put a damper on things and I guess I wanted an outcome more imaginative and unusual than everything going back to the way it was (though I suppose there's something to be said for the Blue ...more
Betsy
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Call it barnyard self-actualization. Too heavy an idea for a picture book? Fine. How about breaking down the barn’s fourth wall? Or nine barnyard characters in search of an illustrator? However you want to couch it, I think we can probably state for the record that by this point any picture book that shows drawn characters taking on a life of their own is fairly par for the course. It’s not a particularly new or shocking idea. Mischievous chickens are also par for the course. No one can be all ...more
Laura
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman is a very clever take on how a picture can tell a story. The misadventure and fun splashes across the pages when a chicken spills a jar of blue paint changing her world to blue. Can she “undo the blue”?

Ms. Freedman uses words sparingly, but oh so admiringly! Each word and phrase colors the story with energy, playfulness, and intelligence. My favorites were—peevish, toppled, and sincerely. Words that felt wonderful rolling around on my tongue!

A creative tale about
...more
Abigail
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Would-Be Artists
An almost-perfectly realized barnyard painting sits waiting for its final touches, when one of the chickens depicted therein breaks free and decides to help, upsetting the pot of blue paint in the process, and coloring everything the wrong shade. Can she set things right, when all of the other creatures come complaining...?

A meta-fictional barnyard tale, Blue Chicken is a book I found more appealing from a visual perspective, than from a textual one. In fact, I think it would work quite well as
...more
Tasha
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This vibrant picture book plays with color and perspective as well as characters who leave the flat page and enter the real world. The picture is almost finished when one of the chickens in the picture pops her head out. She then stands up and walks over to the paint pots that are waiting to finish the picture. When the chicken peeks into the blue paint, she accidentally tips it over and ends up painting herself. She is joined by a little duckling and then more who splash around in the new blue ...more
Heidi-Marie
For me, the illustrations are everything for this book. I love them! They are adorable, clever, talented, humorous, and detailed enough to keep a child (toddler and up) quite entertained in a lap-read or read-alone. In a storytime (probably for preschool age), if the kids can see you could have them tell you what they observe in the pictures.

Very fun story, and I love it when there is much more than what is being said.

10/17/12 I really wanted to try this in a storytime, just to see. But I don't
...more
Shelli
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Blue Chicken is a fantastically fun read aloud that is sure to give children the belly giggles watching all the colorful mayhem unfold. One of the chickens residing in the newly drawn farm wishes to help continue the illustrator’s work by painting the barn a beautiful blue. Sadly his good intentions cause nothing but chaos and the animals are furious at the mess chicken has made. Thankfully chicken is able to find a way to undo the ocean of blue and set things right.

Deborah Freedman love of
...more
Bari
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I recently read The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman and a friend suggested I try Blue Chicken also by Freedman.

Like Fish and Snail, this is an adorable, funny and unique picture book. Freedman manages to write and illustrate picture books for kids that stand out in a market that is packed with choices.

I highly recommend both The Story of Fish and Snail and Blue Chicken.

I've also read and loved By Mouse and Frog by Freedman and plan on keeping my eyes peeled for other books by this
...more
Beverly
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pbf-birds
Adorable pictures; short, cute story about a baby chick who spills blue paint all over a painting of the farm.

What I wrote for Children's Books in the Picture Book Club:
For me, those adorable paintings overcame any deficiencies the story might have, although I thought the story was pretty funny. I loved the little red paint-covered ducklings on the back inside cover gazing out at the newly painted barn.
Becky
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was gorgeous.

I loved the use of color and how the story integrated the artwork, rather than just being supplemented by it. I thought it was adorable and fun, and while this one didn't really have a "message" or anything (other than water is the great "Undo" with watercolors), it was still a book I very much enjoyed.
Adrienne Pettinelli
"A moo wakes the chickens. They're peevish and blue. They dump the red wheelbarrow, dropping that chicken who just wanted to HELP! But the chicken is sorry! Sincerely sorry. Maybe the chicken can undo the blue?"

There is a red wheelbarrow beside the white chickens. I love just about every single little thing about this book.
Mary Ann
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Still smiling about this one - so much joy, mischievousness without any ill-will, silly chicken trying to solve the problems she created, and beautiful beautiful artwork. Loved the movement, the splashes, the gradations of color. Smiles all around.
Barbara
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-time
Deborah tricked me and I love to laugh.
Kelly
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read this one multiple times before, but this is the first recorded time.

This is one of my all-time favorite picture books. I love the little chicken who just wants to help and how after he turns everything blue he is sorry and just wants to help make things right. I love how the sky stays blue. I love the line about a perfect day for painting the barn at the end.
David
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman is somewhat surreal adventure of a chicken in a picture that wreaks havoc with a pot of blue paint.

Within a picture, a chicken just wants to help within the farmyard scene, but the more she tries, the worse, and bluer everything gets. The chicken and a duckling tip something (turpentine?) that clears away the blue paint. Finally things seem to be under control, until the last page is turned.

The text is minimal, allowing readers to focus on the action.

Blue Chicken
...more
Brittany
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caldecott-book
This is a charming little book. I think this should have been the 2012 Caldecott Winner, or at least an honor book. It is the story of an unfinished farm picture, which includes a cow,a cat, ducks and of course chickens. It is time to finish the picture and a little chicken wants to help! So, she crawls out of the drawing and to the blue paint but instead of helping she tips over the paint and spills it! Now everything is blue! How can she undo the blue? Then she has an idea, the water cup! Now ...more
Melanie
Adorable merging of print and real life! The story begins as a picture of a barn scene is begin painted by an unseen artist. The brown chicken coop is complete along with the chicks and chickens. The artist is going to work on the barn now. One curious chicken eyeballs the blue paint, hops off the painting and decides to 'help' paint the picture. She ends up spilling the blue paint all over the pages and everything becomes a blue watercolored mess!
Goodness that little chicken has caused havic
...more
Barbara
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla
In this clever book that combines the idea of mischievious chickens with critters that leave the illustration and make their mark on it as their story is told, an artist leaves her almost finished painting to do a different kind of painting. (Think David Wiesner and The Three Pigs.) What a surprise the artist might have been in for had she returned in the middle of the little chicken's artistic experimentation! The curious chicken spills blue ink that spreads all over the place. Once blue has ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
This is such a delightfully, fun, creative read. I love the way Deborah brings her story to life through her paintings. By creating a story that is centered on a painting and then bringing that painting to life within the story is both clever and engaging. It's also unique, as there aren't many children's books I've read that have done this.

Blue Chicken is a story who's illustrations tell most of the story. When a curiously little chicken decides to scamper out of the drawing and over to the
...more
La Coccinelle
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Sometimes I'm just in the mood for reading picture books. There are some great ones out there, some with awesome stories, others with amazing art (and some with both, of course). I stumbled across this book as a link for the We Give Books program; if you read this book online, you'll have an opportunity to give a book to children in need. What a neat idea!

I wasn't expecting much from this short little book, but I was pleasantly surprised. The premise is simple, but the illustrations really bring
...more
Karen
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I saw an image from this book and that was enough to make me want to buy it. I am so not disappointed. This book combines farm animals AND art. Brilliant! The artwork in this book propels the story, but the text is still delightful and simple enough for the youngest of listeners and the youngest of readers. My son as been known to capsize his paints and color more than he intended, so this story is very relatable for him.

Of course, the illustrations are wonderful. As much as I love the helpful,
...more
Megan
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Summary: In this book chicken just wants to help. But when he tries to help he spills the blue paint and turns EVERYTHING blue! He’s sad and no one is impressed. But chicken cleans up his mess and gets everything back to normal by the end.
Audience: K-2
Appeal: Short and sweet way to talk to kids about helping, making mistakes and cleaning up after themselves.
Implementation: If we were going to be doing a craft in class this would be a cute way to talk to the kids about being careful with the
...more
Brittany Newton
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
This book is absolutely adorable! The illustrations bring the book to life with the use of minimal text. It's about a little chicken that just wants to help paint, but instead, just makes a bigger mess. This story is about painting and it brings the paintings to life within the story. The illustrations are what make the book excellent for kids of all ages. It is a funny, engaging, and lively book to read in the classroom. This is a great book with minimal text so it allows the children to focus ...more
babyhippoface
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm fascinated with the way Deborah Freedman makes flat, 2-D characters seem to become 3-D in this book, even though they remain solidly 2-D. Love that chicken peeping up from her coop in the beginning. Not to mention they're just adorable anyway, but all the splashes of blue are strategically placed on the chicken, making it even cuter.

Our PreK kiddos learn about one basic color a week at the beginning of the school year. I always include one of my favorites, Nancy Tafuri's Blue Goose, and now
...more
Eyehavenofilter
Well if ever there was a book... Yes it's all about me isn't it?
I love a book that mixes color and perspective. One that colors outside the lines.
When a character walks out of the picture you KNOW its going to be a great day...hijinks insue!!!
A pot of blue paint gets toppled by a well intentioned chicken, cows turn blue, other chickens go on the rampage, and ducks get quackin'!
the chicken heads for the water jar to try and wash it away.
The blue stays in the sky, but there is a surprise on the
...more
Hannah Kauper
Sep 05, 2016 added it
Shelves: rdng-350
The illustrations are beautiful and I love it. This book is about a little chicken who goes out of his painting and tips over the blue painting, causing every one in the story to turn blue! He the scrambles to undo what he did! I loved the story line and the plot was very cute and creative. I adored this book. This book made me laugh and was just a fun book to read. I would definitely have this book in my classroom. It would be a fun way to lighten up the classroom and have a little fun. I would ...more
Rachel
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A selection for the Mock Caldecott for my local library system; I absolutely love the imagination in this book! It is an adorable tale about a painting of a farm that includes a barn, chickens, ducks, a cow and a cat. One of the chickens decides to help by painting the barn blue, but things get out of hand and soon everything is covered in blue. Will she be able to get out of this mess? To find out, give this book a chance. Recommended for ages 5 months+, 5 stars.
Julie
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
I haven't seen Inception but I suspect this book is like Inception as a picture book, only with art, not dreams.

Beautiful water colors. Fun, whacky story. (The chicken was only trying to HELP!!) Might help children begin to identify colors, especially (can you guess?) blue.

I wouldn't be surprised if this came away with a Caldecott honor, although I think it's a bit of a dark horse.
Stephanie Croaning
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is the second Deborah Freedman book where the characters in the illustrations come to life and create the story by interacting with the physical page. A helpful chicken spills the blue paint and the other farm animals splash around until everything is blue. The splashes appear to come off the page and make you feel part of the story too! I also love how the author begins telling the story on the inside cover and carries it on until the very last page.
Alyssa
Freedman, Deborah., Franceschelli, Christopher. Blue Chicken. New York: Viking, 2011. Animal Fantasy.

What makes this book unique is how the story starts with an unseen illustrator painting the barn in the farmyard. The animals become 3-D on the pages, and a little chicken tries to help out with a pot of blue paint. She accidentely spills it all over the pages and turns everything blue. The merging of the print and real life is creative and engaging!
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Once upon a time, I was an architect. But now I'd much rather build worlds in books — picture books like Scribble , Blue Chicken , The Story of Fish & Snail , and By Mouse & Frog . My most recent books are Shy and This House, Once , and CARL and The Meaning of Life . Look for my next book, Is Was, in 2021.

I love reading books; I hate rating them! Let's just say that if I didn't
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