Chicken Cheeks

Common Sense Media says

Corny rhymes about rear ends redeemed by terrific artwork.





What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know this book has no substantial story, though some kids might find all the silly references to rear ends entertaining. The artwork and wordplay make it a worthwhile read.

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What's the story?

The bear wants to get to the top of the tree to reach the honey at the top. One by one, a variety of animals climb atop one another to reach it, each time sticking its rear end in the face of the character just below, and each time the rear is given a clever name. They nearly succeed, but "in the end" (and much is made of that phrase), the "bumblebee bum" does them in.

Is it any good?


Vibrant colors, especially contrasted against a deep blue background, and full-paged animals with startled expressions will pull almost any reader into this book. But, though the illustrations are colorful and appealing, without them the story really isn't much of a story at all. The words themselves can be rather corny; however, most kids like silly wordplay, and this book might be a good jumping off spot for playing with rhyming and alliteration.

If you think talking about rear ends and all the different names we have for them is funny, you may think this is a clever book. If you don't, well, then you might want to skip this one.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way each of the terms for the backside works with the animal it describes. Some are alliterative (chicken cheeks), others rhyme (polar bear derriere), and yet others just hang out there (duck tail). They might enjoy coming up with other clever combinations of their own.

Book details

Author:Michael Ian Black
Illustrator:Kevin Hawkes
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 6, 2009
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

This review of Chicken Cheeks was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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