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Big Fat Hen

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,182 ratings  ·  151 reviews
One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door . . . . Nine, ten, big fat hen! Now young children can enjoy a popular nursery rhyme and learn to count, too. Keith Baker's delightful illustrations filled with eggs and chicks (and bugs) are sure to tickle little ones for hours of read-aloud fun.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published March 30th 1994)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,182 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This green big fat hen will have you counting in no time!
Chelsea Horton
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Such a cute counting book! It adds rhymes as you go such as 1, 2 buckle my shoe and 3, 4 shut the door. The illustrations are cute as well! It is a cartoon-like hen and you are counting her eggs. In the end the book shows the hen's friends and all of their eggs/chicks together. Kids will love the colors, rhyming, and of course seeing the adorable baby chicks!
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chicken-books
My kids really like this book. The artwork is bright and colorful and each hen as her own fanciful designs on her feathers. The chicks are really adorable. It's a fun take on the nursery rhyme "One, two, buckle my shoe". Really, really cute.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book to two groups of toddlers. The illustrations are colorful yet simple with bold, defined lines. I like that it incorporates counting.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is so so cute for little ones. Really colorful and vivid and rhymes. Almost 2 year old looked at it forever.... Really cute little book.
Rachel Smith
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Illustrations are cartoony and sweet. Love the simplicity of the poetry, it makes it open to younger grades.
Katie Fitzgerald
Read at Baby Lap Time on 4/8/11:

Read at Baby Lap Time on 9/28/11 and 9/29/11:

Read at Baby Lap Time on 2/1/12 & 2/2/12:

Read at Baby/Toddler Lap Time on 3/23/12:

Read at Baby Time on 4/4/12:

Read at Baby Lap Time on 8/9/12 and 8/10/12:

Read at Baby Lap Ti
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Big Fat Hen
Illustrated by Keith Baker

Genre: Counting

A cute rhyming story that counts up to ten. The pictures are wonderful.

A. The area for critique is definitely the illustrations.
B. The illustrator uses shading and many colors to make this book memorable. I am not quite sure of the technique here but I think it is a paint/pastel combination. The author uses both pages to illustrate one idea.
C. I particularly like the first page, 1 and 2. The hen has laid 2 eggs but she is chasing a d
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Genre: Counting

Summary: A classic nursery rhyme of numbers is retold and depicted with colorful illustrations.

Critique: A. Rhyme
B. This story is told in a simple rhyme scheme that is easily related to small children. Using numbers as rhyming words allows children to remember them and recognize them.
C. For example, the story says, "3, 4, shut the door." This is a simple line that many children would remember and is easy to say.

Curriculum Connection: This story would be most effective for presc
Samantha Penrose
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kids learning to recognize numbers and/or words
Shelves: kids-books
This familiar nursery rhyme is a great way to help your child learn to recognize numbers, or learn to read.
The illustrations give clear visual clues as to what number or verse is in the accompanying text. For every odd number there is a corresponding number of insects milling around in the picture and for every even number there are that many eggs piling up with the mama hen. For every rhyming verse you will see the chicks (from the eggs on the previous page) performing said task. (One, -dragonf
Lamar Sanders
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Main Characters: Six big fat hens and a plethora of their offspring
Point of View: 3rd person
Plot: The book follows six hens as they lay their eggs and hatch baby chicks. As the book progresses, the eggs laid increases by 2, all the way up to 10.
Main Ideas:Counting, Rhyming, Sequencing

The illustrations are awesomely vibrant and complement the simple story line very well. The rhyming and counting make the story very entertaining and engaging. I was surprised at how industrious the newly hatched ba
Melissa Holt
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: peer-showcase
This book is a great book to read to children. The words in this book are to the tune of 1,2 buckle my shoe. Even though, this book is more math than language and literacy you could do a language and literacy assignment, maybe have the children with their creative minds come up with another version of the song 1 2 buckle my shoe. This book is very colorful and has great illustrations. The book does not just have to teach children about math and language and literacy it can also teach them about ...more
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Simple classic nursery rhyme "one, two--buckle my shoe" told with saturated colors and a big fat hen. Great counting book that respects children's intelligence--for example, the one, two page has two eggs and one dragonfly, but doesn't label them "one dragonfly" or "two eggs". At the end, there is a lot of counting to do as well. Good conversation starter about different animals and vocabulary around them (and the word buckle).
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Big Fat Hen is a really good book! It contains very colorful images which can help to catch a reader's eye! This book helps children to learn their numbers by using rhymes. I can see myself using this book in my classroom because it is an easy read, but very helpful at the same time! I would recommend this book to any parents who are in need of a little help with teaching their children how to count.
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nursery-rhymes
Children get to enjoy a popular nursery rhyme while learning to count! This brings new life to the classic nursery rhyme "One, two buckle my shoe". A fun and educational read for young learners! This book is full of fun illustrations that are sure to delight the young reader. Learning to count is a key lesson for young people, and this makes it fun, while not straying too far from the nursery rhymes that adults grew up loving.

recommended for preschool through first grade.
Jo Oehrlein
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, math
A 2 page spread for each half line of the rhyme (so, "1, 2" is a 2 page spread and "buckle my shoe" is another 2 page spread). You can find the items corresponding with the numbers on the number page. The 2nd number always matches up with eggs. On the next 2 page spread, the eggs have hatched and are now chicks!

The illustrations are bright and beautiful. The hens have a lot of colorful character.
Tionna Parker
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Big fat hen is a book that I read and just fell in love with.It has a easy to follow story line which most people already know because it is a popular nursery rhyme. The hen's and just all the illustrations just pop off the page with the vibrant colors that just catch your attention immediately. This book is great for young children because it can be read or sung and because it has counting and sequence throughout the story.
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: math
The colorful math book features number comparison, object grouping, addition, and subtraction in this story is very entertaining and engaging. It would be also a good way to help children to recognize numbeers or learn to read for preschool aged children. The simple rhymes with the numbers could be used throughout the activites(counting/numbers/rhyming words) in the classroom or home.
Meg McGregor
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-lexi
The perfect book to teach counting and farm animals together! Outstanding illustrations bring life to the traditional counting rhyme and little ones will spend hours reading this book over and over again!

I just wish it came in board book form as well as a traditional hardback.
Nick Somsavanh
Big Fat Hen (1994) is a counting book written and illustrated by Keith Baker that utilizes the classic nursery rhyme and puts it in visual book form for children to read or sing along to, either independently, with their classmates and educator or with their parents. The book uses the full space of the pages with big bright colors and cartoon animations to help get young readers instantly engaged with the material. The story keeps a rhythmic pace as each line of the nursery rhyme is given two pa ...more
Dana Hunt
Title: Big Fat Hen
Author: Keith Baker
Illustrator: Keith Baker
Genre: Fiction, Specimens
Theme(s): Counting

Opening Line/sentence: “1, 2… buckle my shoe”

Brief Book Summary: This counting book counts to ten with catch phrases in between the numbers to tell a story about a hen and her hatching chicks. It is an upbeat, colorful book with a hen and her friends that catches the readers attention through illustrations.

Professional Recommendation/ Review #1: Marilyn Courtot- Children’s Literature “Count fr
This story line was hard to assimilate at first because I grew up with the version in which a fox prepares everything to find a big fat hen for its next meal. Once I realized there would be no fox present, I readjusted my thoughts, and I found it ironic that the story is about many big fat hens getting things ready for their chicks first meal. Of course, this is a view on an adult level. Children will benefit from this book because there is opportunity to count in rhyme. the book is good for dev ...more
Jackie Sisley
Big Fat Hen is an illustrated version of the nursery rhyme many know from childhood. It is a short book that is beautifully illustrated and very engaging for young readers. The lines rhyme so it is fun to listen to and read. It involves math with addition and rational counting, science with life cycles, and social-emotional skills with mother/child relationships. I recommend this book for teachers, parents, and young readers alike.
Magaly Almario
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: in-class-books
Big Fat Hen, is a good read aloud book for young children because of its illustrations, they are colorful and fun, the book uses hens, eggs and the hatching of eggs to teach numbers 1 to 10. The book does not contained a broad vocabulary instead it focuses on numbers which makes it great for math lessons and or children who are more inclined towards numbers instead of letters.
Mariah Wright
Big Fat Hen is an all time favorite. Many know of the song "One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door. . . . . Nine, ten, big fat hen" this book is a interpretation of the song. Big Fat Hen has colorful illustrations and uses figurative meaning. It also uses counting which can help develop counting skills in young children. This book is developmentally age appropriate.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the most adorable counting books out there. Simple so it keeps a young child's attention and it's rhyming. So, two in one...sort of. The chicks are absolutely adorable and will definitely lead to some sort of discussion. I would say that three is the oldest you should go with this book but at the same time every child's different.
Wendy Potter
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful book to practice reading and math! It is a counting book with beautiful illustrations. I also like that it goes with a children's song and it could be either read or sung to children. Animals are always a kid's favorite and I think they would enjoy this book very much, especially very small kids. The last pages provide a challenge for those who want to count beyond 10!
Adriana Palencia
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is an excellent counting book for children. It also has a familiar song tune which makes the reading enjoyable. The colorful illustrations make the pictures eye pleasing. Also, the text on the pages was very large which is excellent for young readers.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nothing exceptional story-wise - it's really an illustrated nursery rhyme. Still, it was a good toddler storytime read. The pictures are big and bold and colorful, easy for the group to see. It's a good participation book, with the counting (and the rhyme, if they know it).
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A picture book version of the rhyme "1, 2, buckle my shoe" with a counting element to it. Would be a cute way to add a counting activity to a farm-themed storytime. Each hen is a different color, so that could add another learning element to storytime as well. A good pick for toddler storytime.
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