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Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise

(Interrupting Chicken #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  945 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Surprise! The little red chicken is back -- and as endearingly silly as ever -- in David Ezra Stein's follow-up to the Caldecott Honor-winning Interrupting Chicken.

It's homework time for the little red chicken, who has just learned about something every good story should have: an elephant of surprise. Or could it be an element of surprise (as her amused papa explains)? As
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  945 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
This book is hilarious, especially for the elephant lover.
Pablo V
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First sentence: It was after school for the little red chicken. "Well, Chicken," said Papa, "did you have a good day at school?" "Yes, Papa! And today my teacher told us every story has an elephant of surprise. So let's read a story, and we'll find the elephant." "Chicken, she wasn't talking about an elephant. She was talking about an element of surprise.

Premise/plot: The Interrupting Chicken is back for a second book. In this picture book sequel, Papa is trying to teach his daughter, Chicken,
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: x-2018-reads
Sadly, a bit shy of even a “meh” book for me.
Sadly, because Interrupting Chicken is one of my all time favs...
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is the sequel to the Caldecott Honor winner that returns us to the silliness of the first. The little red chicken has homework to do. At school, he learned all about the “elephant of surprise” and how it appears in every story. Papa tries to correct his little chicken, but as they share stories the element of surprise is at play. Who knew that even Ugly Duckling, Rapunzel and The Little Mermaid have a shocking surprise for Papa too? Spend some more time with these two chickens in a book ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-alouds
The little red chicken is BACK and ready to teach her papa all about the part of all good stories that makes the reader go WHOA, I didn't see that coming! You know, the elephant of surprise!

The kids still love chicken and they are all in for finding the elephant in classic stories. I do find myself having to recap the stories BEFORE I actually read the snippets to the kids, just to give them a jumping off point if they haven't heard the story before. Shared with 2nd grade during book fair week
Donna Snyder
This is a wonder story with a word play twist. The author was very clever in the dialog and would keep parents amused when reading to their children. The author also did the illustrations, which are beautiful and fairly detailed. I also liked the fact that Papa chicken read to his daughter. I’m going to read more of David Ezra Stein’s books.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robbi Caldwell
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: h-books
These illustrations had me in stitches. I had to stop and compose myself after Rapunzel. I’m not quite sure why this made me laugh so hard but I hope it does the same for you! ...more
Susan Morris
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Loved this! Chicken misunderstands his teacher about the element of surprise in stories, and his dad cannot convince him he has it wrong. Illustrations are terrific, too. (Library)

The key is to give the elephant of surprise a Bobcat Goldthwait type voice. Much comedy.
Lara Samuels
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just buy this book and maybe multiple copies! You know people who will love this book.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: humorous books for teaching English & writing
When English class or writing gets you down - read this ridiculous story.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5. The premise was great just fell a little flat in some parts.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Yeah, I am easily amused. I cracked up. The elephant of surprise - Surprise! I'm an elephant.
Cassandra Elise
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute sequel to the Caldecott-honored book. It wasn't quite as funny as its predecessor, but it still gave me a few chuckles and can teach kids all about the "elephant" of surprise found in most books (also known as the plot twist).
Katie Fitzgerald
In this sequel to Interrupting Chicken, Chicken comes home from school with instructions from her teacher to find the elephant of surprise in every story she reads. Her dad tries to explain that her teacher is talking about the element of surprise, but Chicken is determined to write elephants into every story instead. Though the artwork is just as great in this book as it was in the first, there is little more to the text than this one joke, which is pretty well played out before the story is ...more
Sequels aren't always as good as the originals. But this one is just as delightful and laugh-inducing. I love the relationship between Little Chicken and her father. Her enthusiasm balances sweetly against his efforts to correct her misunderstanding. He tries to explain to her that her teacher didn't mean that every story has an "elephant" of surprise in it but an "element" of surprise. But Little Chicken doesn't believe her father and as they read together is delighted to point out to her ...more
Becky B
The little red chicken comes home from school announcing to her father that her teacher has told her there's an elephant of surprise in every story and she's supposed to read three stories and find it. Her father thinks it is more likely the teacher said the element of surprise, but they settle in to read some stories and find out which it is.

What a clever way to introduce the element of surprise to little readers! This is sure to stick with readers, and it is a fun, ridiculous story. I hope
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A delightful sequel to Interrupting Chicken. The gorgeous illustrations bring much movement and warmth to this second story about Chicken and her papa. Although they disagree on whether Chicken’s teacher said “element of surprise” or “elephant of surprise,” it’s easy to see the loving bond between them. I enjoyed the fairy tale inclusions and the elephant character adds a lot of fun (and surprise) to the story, too. I mean, really, can you imagine a round blue elephant sporting long braids or a ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars I love the first interrupting Chicken book... It made me laugh!

If you have ever read my reviews, you know that I rarely LOL, IRL .
However, this book got a full Laugh out Loud!!

I found it silly, and fun, and full of love and of course... the elephants of surprise was amusing!
Super big grin from me!!
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

4.5 stars

The sequel to David Ezra Stein's terrifically funny- and Caldecott Honor–winning!- Interrupting Chicken, Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise sees the return of the indefatigable little red chicken who so delighted readers in book one. When Chicken gets home after school, she tells her papa all about what she learned that day: " my teacher told us every story has an elephant of surprise. So let's read a story, and we'll find the elephant". As her father gently
Stephanie Croaning
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2018
Little Red Chicken and her Papa are back in the sequel to the Caldecott Honor winner, Interrupting Chicken. Teachers could read this book as a fun introduction to a writing unit that focuses on the element of surprise.

Picture book, fiction
by David Ezra Stein
Candlewick Press, 2018
4 out of 5 stars

Similar in style to the original Interrupting Chicken, this story features the Little Red Chicken interrupting well-known fairy tales with his own brand of storytelling. Her teacher has just gone over
Vera Godley
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven't seen book #1 featuring Interrupting Chicken but from the looks of #2, I'd say it was a real cute one. Now book #2 - Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise features a young chicken that comes home from school and he and his papa get into a discussion about the surprise of the story.

Little chicken says there is an Elephant in the story and Papa says the word is not a real elephant but an element of surprise - or a bit of surprise in the story and that is called an "element of
Mary Judy
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, the follow-up to the 2011 Caldecott Honour winning Interrupting Chicken, is bound to bring endless delight and fits of giggles to storytime. A testament to reading and sharing stories, and to the relationship it helps build. It exposes the foibles, frustrations and overwhelming love in the parent/child relationship while entertaining and amusing the reader with memorable characters in a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud story. As Papa does his best to convince Little Red Chicken that she ...more
Thanks to Candlewick, I received a copy of this second (adventure?) in the life of the little red chicken and his Papa, again clever in the approach to the story with boisterous illustrations and laugh-out-loud conversation between the two. The little red chicken has homework and needs help. He must find and identify the "elephant of surprise" in three books. His teacher says every good story has that "elephant" or is it "element"? It's that thing that makes one say "Whoa! I didn't know that was ...more
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love it!! It's a worthy sequel to the 2011 Caldecott Honor picture book by David Ezra Stein. Appealing to a broad age range of elementary readers, pre-K through grade 2 students will laugh out loud at the silly, dramatic, irrepressible daughter. She's sure her teacher taught her to look for an elephant in every story and we see she won't be convinced otherwise. The close, humorous father-daughter relationship makes this a heart-warming tale. Teachers can bring this lighthearted, humorous story ...more
A wonderful sequel to Interrupting Chicken; now it's homework time instead of bedtime. Instead of giving away the ending (as was in the first book), now the Elephant of Surprise pops in at ridiculous moments to derail the telling. Fun take on reading and telling stories in general. Love that it's a dad reading to his kid and what a great relationship they have. Awesome for read-aloud; best success if audience has familiarity with some/all of the traditional tales/fairy tales included (or it may ...more
Melissa ONeal
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I'm a big fan of Interrupting Chicken. I read it to my 4th graders every year when they start getting chatty. This book did not disappoint! Our beloved chicken is back and gives us a fun way to revisit why we don't interrupt. The silliness of the story makes our conversation lighthearted, while giving a gentle reminder.

But the best part is bringing in the literary term element of surprise. We had a great discussion about what it is and how authors use it. We were also able to compare and
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David Ezra Stein is an author-illustrator whose previous books include LEAVES, winner of an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. He lives in Kew Gardens, New York.

Other books in the series

Interrupting Chicken (2 books)
  • Interrupting Chicken