In his retelling of the classic story Chicken Little, Robert Byrd gives a new triumphant twist to the story. Brave Chicken Little stays true to the story's characters and beginning, but takes us to a happier resolution that children will appreciate. In this richly illustrated version, the villain; Foxy Loxy, is defeated and our heroes (albeit not the wisest at first) escape to the tell the King the sky is falling. Your kids will enjoy hearing the story and meeting the large cast of characters along Chicken Little's way. They'll wonder what will happen when Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Turkey Lurkey, Piggy Wiggy, Rabbit Babbit, Natty Ratty, Froggy Woggy, and Roly and Poly Moley are trapped by Foxy Loxy, but will celebrate when the family of foxes is outfoxed by brave Chicken Little. It's nice to read an optimistic outcome to your kids that still teaches a great lesson.
Brock: It's my pleasure to have Robert Byrd here to answer a few questions about Brave Chicken Little. Robert, why did you decide to retell the story of Chicken Little?
Robert: I always liked the story of Chicken Little, and the sky falling, and how foolish all the animals seemed, but I felt the traditional telling of the tale didn't really go anywhere.
Brock: Is that why you added a more positive hopeful ending to the story?
Robert: In some versions the fox eats everybody and in others the king's dogs chase the fox away, and in others nothing really happens at the end. I thought the story could be told with Chicken Little - a very small animal - out-foxing the fox. Chicken Little is sort of a hero while all of the others are rather useless in a bad situation. I also liked the idea of introducing new characters into the story.
Brock: My kids loved your illustrations. What artistic techniques did you use for Brave Chicken Little?
Robert: I work with ink line drawn over pencil line, and then washes and layers of watercolor, on Arches water color paper. Thanks so much for your interest in my work. You can see more of what I do at Robert Byrd Art
Brock: Thanks Robert for answering our questions.
From the Publisher:
Could it be? A piece of the sky!
Chicken Little and his friends run, run, run to tell the king. Nothing stands in the way except…the sly Foxy Loxy. Surely they have time to stop for lunch with Foxy and his kits. But what happens when Chicken Little and company find themselves on the menu?
What this classic story needs is a new ending and a brave hero. And maybe this time, it’s Chicken Little!
Cleverly retold and exquisitely illustrated by Robert Byrd, Brave Chicken Little transforms a cautionary fable into a tale of triumph.
Praise for BRAVE CHICKEN LITTLE:
“Byrd’s rewrite of the Chicken Little story is a distinct improvement on traditional versions…pen-and-ink spreads drawn with a sense of lyricism [are] pleasantly at odds with the slapstick prose.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review“So much attention and detail has been lavished on each flora and fauna enhanced spread that children will want repeat viewings. That will give them more time to catch the humor that can be broad (CL cellar escape) or subtle (the range of expressions on the animals’ faces).” – Booklist, starred review“This is the most fun version of Chicken Little since Paul Galdone’s Henny Penny (Seabury Press, 1968).” --Library Media Connection“A handsome, most welcome addition to the…literature of folk and fairy tales.” --Kirkus
“Byrd upends both the classic tale’s conventions and its cautionary message; still, his revision works as an underdog-makes-good story, much abetted by his elegantly detailed illustrations.” --Horn Book“Alliteration, occasional rhyming, and poetic language add richness to the storytelling and strengthen the readaloud potential.” --BCCB