Interrupting Chicken

Common Sense Media says

Funny award-winning book imparts gentle manners lesson.




Caldecott Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will delight in this funny book -- and learn a gentle lesson about manners. Little Chicken seems to have developed an affinity for storytelling and the written word, which may encourage readers to appreciate literature and storytelling as well.

Positive messages

The message of this story is "Don't interrupt." However, it is imparted gently, and with humor. The lighthearted father-daughter relationship touches on the idea that parents can act as both the necessary authority figure and patient, understanding friend.

Positive role models

The little red chicken's Papa is a great role model -- he remains very gentle and loving as he tries to teach his daughter not to interrupt. Papa is a great example of a patient and kindhearted adult figure who imparts a lesson on manners with his child, but still allows her to be herself. The little red chicken's excitement when it comes to storytelling is something that many of the younger readers can relate to as well.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book was selected as a 2011 Caldecott Medal Honor book for its "exuberant artwork" that "shifts media and style," according to the Caldecott Award committee. Parents can use this book to remind their kids not to interrupt -- or just laugh with them at the little red chicken's bedtime antics.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

A little chicken keeps interrupting her father as he tries to read her bedtime stories. She literally jumps into each of the three stories -- Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Chicken Little -- and warns the characters of the evils to come. In the end, she tells him a story, only to have him fall asleep on her.

Is it any good?


It's a challenge to tell a funny book about bedtime, but young readers will definitely laugh as they hear about how the little chicken keeps interrupting her dad as he reads to her. The drawings, done in brightly colored watercolor, crayon, pen, and ink, bring the chicken's bedtime antics to life as she jumps on her bed, runs around her room, and does everything except sleep. The sweet ending of the story will warm parents' and kids' hearts alike.

The funny, brightly-colored illustrations, done with watercolor, water-soluble crayon, pen and ink, bring the chicken's antics to life.


Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the benefits of reading during bedtime. What are your favorite bedtime books? Why is reading before bedtime a good activity?

  • Why did the little red chicken interrupt her father so many times as he was telling stories? Why is it a good idea not to interrupt others when they talk or tell stories?

Book details

Author:David Ezra Stein
Illustrator:David Ezra Stein
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Candlewick Press
Publication date:August 1, 2010
Number of pages:40
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6
Award:Caldecott Medal and Honors

This review of Interrupting Chicken 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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Kid, 3 years old February 8, 2012

Great story for young story enthusiasts

I liked the relationship between the dad and the baby chicken. it encourages a dynamic relationship to stories. It also shows a child making up a story for her dad and mirrors the way a child would write. It is a also respectful of a child's trying to make up stories and the way one would illustrate their own stories (probably at a 5 or 6 y/o level - but appreciated by my 3 y/o.) It is a very loving and affectionate story.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Educator and Parent of a 3 and 5 year old Written byboltzca00 August 30, 2012

Fun book for creative storytelling.

We got this book as a birthday gift and really enjoy it. My son is an interrupter so he laughs at the chicken. This book is fun to allow the child to continue the story and provide their own "interruption".


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