Monday, November 7, 2011

Review #111: Blue Chicken

Dad:  Today we're taking a look at "Blue Chicken" by Deborah Freedman.
Lily (age 8):  I wonder if she lives on a farm?
Dad:  So, tell us about this book.
Lily:  Blue Chicken is about a chicken who wanted to help paint the barn.
Gracie (age 11):  Never let a chicken help you paint.  Never.
Isaac (age 13):  They'll just mess it up.
Gracie:  There is a drawing of a farm, and the little animals in the picture come to life.
Lily:  The artist wasn't done with her painting yet.  The barn hadn't been colored in.  Then the chicken comes out of the picture and goes over to the blue paint.  Then it splashed, and she got everything blue.  Everybody in the painting got blue, all the cows, all the chickens, all the ducks.
Dad:  Oh dear.
Lily:  So the chicken runs over to a glass of water.  She throws a duck, and he plops in the bucket, and the water splashes all over the place, and everybody got washed off, and I love this page.  It's awesome.
Gracie:  The picture looks so watery.
Isaac:  Deborah Freedman is very good at watercolors.  There's one page where it looks like actual water ripples.  How would you do that?
Gracie:  I like that page.
Isaac: (continuing to flip through the pages)  And that's a really amazing picture too.  See how she can make the water look like it's tipping over and starting to spill out...
Dad:  There are so many different handlings of water in this book.  She can make water look still, and she can make it look splashy.
Isaac:  There's big splashes. And there's also little tiny drips seeping out.
Gracie:  Dribbles.
Isaac:  And puddles.
Dad:  Characters wading in water.  Characters swimming in the water.
Lily:  And rain water.
Dad:  Water is seen inside the full glass.  And it looks different than the water seen behind, through the empty glass.
Isaac:  Shadows in the water.  And reflections in the water.  She's really good at this.
Dad:  What did you guys like besides all the paintings of water?
Lily:  That duckling.
Dad:  Ducks are your favorite.
Lily:  I'm pretty sure the duck and the chicken are best friends.  The duck follows her around.  And the duck wasn't angry at the chicken.  And he let the chicken throw him into the jar.
Dad:  What if you left one of your pictures, and when you came back, more of it was finished?
Gracie:  I did that once.  One time I drew a picture of a boy running.  And I came back later...
Isaac:  Ohhhh ho ho...
Gracie:  And there was a little monster shooting bullets everywhere, climbing on his shoulder!
Isaac:  Ha ha ha hee hee ha ha hah!
Dad:  Hmm - why is Isaac laughing so hard I wonder?
Lily:  Oh yeah, that was Isaac.
Dad:  Are you saying Isaac is a "Blue Chicken"?
Lily:  Yes.
Isaac:  I was trying to finish the picture.
Dad:  Maybe that can be our new code word.  Anytime something bad happens to one of our drawings... "You... Blue Chicken!"
Gracie:  "Darn you, Blue Chicken, you!"
Dad:  Would you like your pictures to come to life?
Lily:  If I were going to draw a picture to come alive, I would draw a duck.  A trained duck.  A duck that is trained to eat warmed-up broccoli.  Then we could eat it together.
Dad:  You guys know who Deborah Freedman is, right?
Lily:  She did "Scribble"!
Gracie:  This book is so similar to "Scribble."  They each have themes of color.  They each have pictures of animals that come to life.
Lily:  She takes a similar idea and twists it.
Gracie:  She's creative.  Who else would have thought of a Blue Chicken?
Lily:  I love this book like the dickens.  The dickens and the chickens.

blue chicken, by Isaac

chicken splashes duckling, by Lily

splash-off between blue duckling & orange chicken, by Gracie

Author/Illustrator: Deborah Freedman
Published, 2011: Viking
Like it? Here it is


Heidi Noel said...

I am thinking I might have to use "blue chicken" here in my house, too.

ElizT said...

Nice book.

Matt I. said...

I love Gracie's picture (it makes me think of Portal...).

Unknown said...

Great site you have. It's SO important to get children to love books at an early age.

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

he he he he he he! You guys are so much fun to listen to and watch he he he! I just love this! Wonderful pictures too. Thanks so much for leaving such a grand comment at my blog. Hope you win!
Best for a wonderful and happy holiday.

Bob Brooks said...

Very nice book and well done, cute review. I am highlighting it and your blog on my blog ( on Wednesday. Thank you.

Nina Crittenden said...

This book looks totally fun. Love the vibrant, saturated colors and splattering you did in your paintings, kids!