by David Ezra Stein
In his 2011 Caldecott Honor book, David Ezra Stein creates a very funny send-up of a familiar bedtime ritual. Your child will more than likely relate to a few things about this little red chicken who loves being read to by her Papa—and who loves to express herself. We first spy the little red chicken as if through a porthole. While she stalls for a story from Papa, the illustrations grow until they overtake the double-page spread with velvety colors of teal, red, yellow and green. Papa first asks, “You’re not going to interrupt the story tonight, are you?” then reads from a classic storybook that also fills the entire spread. Hansel and Gretel approach the famous candy-covered house in pictures with creamy tones of white, black, and a hint of red. The little chicken appears in a cascade of color as well as a blare of sound, as she crashes onto the old-fashioned pages to warn Hansel and Gretel: “Don’t go in! She’s a witch!” After a couple more attempts from Papa with similar comical results, the little red chicken gets a taste of her own medicine, and readers get a large dose of humor. Luckily, all is well because this story-within-a-story en- BWOK! BWOK! BWOK! well. We won't give it away, but it ends very well.