31 in 31 day 4: Blue Chicken

Found this book at the library and it looked really fun, so, here we go!

Title: Blue Chicken
Published by: Viking, Penguin Group, 2011
Written by: Deborah Freedman
Illustrated by: Deborah Freedman

In one word: Playful
In one sentence: A little chicken tries to help paint but blue gets everywhere until the whole barnyard is “blue to the bone!”

Favorite pages:

Love this one. Peeping out…checkin’ the scene :)
LOVE that he’s peeking in there! So cute!
Blue Moo!


  • the characters literally jump out of their picture
  • the interesting perspectives
  • the story is very simple and there’s minimal text
  • adorable little chicken
  • good theme of making a mess and cleaning it up!
  • Nice twist with the barn, too :)


  • Think outside the box, and, in this case, outside the drawing!
  • Because the characters literally come off their page, it feels so much more adventurous.
  • Awesome twist on a universal theme…I’ll have to think more like that.
  • poetic use of language…you can be poetic and have a short word count!

Updated bookshelf:

Book 4, day 4!

Have any of you read this book?
What did you think?
And what are you reading today?
Let us know!

KE and SS

22 thoughts on “31 in 31 day 4: Blue Chicken

  1. Today I read “I Need My Monster” by Amanda Noo and Illustrated by Howard McWilliam. I picked this up for a few reasons. 1) I am impressed by the work put out by Flashlight Press. They are a small indie press and they take unagented submissions. 2) Howard McWilliam was the illustrator for my friend, Jodi Moore’s, book “A Dragon Moves In.” I love his style.

    This story had a Monsters, Inc. feel. It basically is the story of a little boy who’s monster who lives under the bed goes fishing. The boy does not feel that he can sleep without his monster, so he holds new monster auditions.

    Its a premise that I feel has been overdone lately. Sooooo many monster books. However, I do like that take that its the monster’s job to scare the kid into staying in bed. Clever.

    Its a fun read that kids will like. But this grown up felt like she had read it before. :)

      1. Hi Marcie,
        Everyone needs a monster, right?
        Thanks for the honest review.
        I’ll have to search for this one at the library!

  2. Kathy, I haven’t read either your book pick or Marcie’s…this is fun and really helpful because with MILLIONS of books out there, it’s great to have someone else’s take on a book to see if it’s worth getting and reading. :) I know what Marcie means…although I love that there are lots of funny monster books to help kids overcome their monster fears, it seems like it is getting out of hand…everywhere you look there is a new monster (book) popping up. :)
    Today I read “Knuffle Bunny Too” by Mo Willems.
    Although it’s hard to believe, this is the first Mo Willems book I have actually read myself…it is a 2005 Caldecott Honor Book and got rave reviews from every major review site.
    When I opened the book, I knew exactly where I was…back in Brooklyn, New York! Mr. Willems creatively using photographs as the backdrop for his cartoon-like character illustrations…how clever! I loved the improbable story of two little girls whose almost identical treasured stuffed bunnies get switched at the first day of preschool and whose fathers RUSH out with their daughters at 3am so that the bunnies can be returned to the proper owners. The girls become friends…and I guess everyone lives happily ever after. :) Hmmm…how many fathers would get dressed at 3am and run through the darkened streets of Brooklyn with their 4-year old daughters to meet at Grand Army Plaza to exchange stuffed animals? Not too many, I think. :)
    I can’t wait to read some of Mr. Willems other books…I took out several for this challenge…I’m curious to see if they all follow this mold…or if each is creative in it’s own right.

    1. Wow, Mo Willems…where do I even start?
      I’m glad you liked Knuffle Bunny Too…
      I love the art in it too.
      I’ve met Mo two times now, and have many books signed by him.
      I love everything he writes!

  3. Hi Kathy!

    I’ve read the Blue Chicken book and I loved it! So funny and kind of art deco to me.

    Marcie…I’ve read I Need My Monster and I really enjoyed it! I must not have read as many monster books recently as you have…lol…

    The book I read today was When Wishes Were Horses by Sharon Hart Addy and illustrated by Brad Sneed. I will sum up my opinion in one word…FABULOUS! This story is about a boy on his way to the grocery store for his mother when he makes a wish for a horse to ride on a hot, dusty summer day instead of having to walk. The only problem is that you don’t always NEED what you wish for. The illustrations are wonderful and the entanglement of horses being wished into life kept me wishing there were more wishes…;~)

    Donna L Martin

    1. I love books about wishes, Donna.
      I think I read one by James Stevenson a while back…but this one sounds great. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Apparently you were in my head today, because I also looked at this book today at the library!
    A book I DID get at the library was called THE END by David LaRochelle & Richard Egielski.
    It promised to be a fairy tale book told after the ever after. In reality, it was just a fairy tale told in reverse, but it was cute and everything came full circle – and a quick read which is a bonus when bedtime is running late!

    1. Sorry Jasmine, I’ll try to get out of your head :)
      The End sounds like a book I would love.
      And yes, full circle is great, as well as a quick read for a late-running bedtime :)

  5. I read Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad. My favorite part was when the friends were dressed in their bug costumes, and Ladybug Girl says there’s a mean alien in the house, referring to her mean brother. I was delighted to find this pb online!

      1. Really? That’s cool! So he’s a developer then? I’ve actually been studying apps a little bit, trying to write one.

      2. My husband is sort of a jack of all trades but works as a tech artist for a video game company- the company he was working with last year had a contract with Penguin to make the ap, and he ended up doing the project on his own time at home. Making the animations, deciding on the interactive bits, etc. His old company is no longer around, but he’s going to continue with more book aps (I think the hope is to do some originals- I have a story I’ve been waiting for him to illustrate for ages! haha)

    1. I’ve heard many good things about Ladybug Girl! I think I’ve read through at least one of them, and just heard a review on NPR about the author and illustrator team. Thanks for reminding me about this great series :)

  6. We read ZOOM, ROCKET, ZOOM by Margaret Mayo. I really liked this book because it read like a rhythmic picture book but the topic was non-fiction. My young boys were able to tell me about everything they knew about space and I enjoyed reading it aloud!

  7. This book looks like SUCH fun! I forgot to check in yesterday, but I read A CLOSER LOOK by Mary McCarthy, for my Perfect Picture Book choice this week (so I then spent a long time writing up the PPBF post, and hence forgot to post here last night.) All month on PPBF I’m highlighting books that urge children to take a closer look at nature, so this seemed the perfect starting point.

    Its premise is simple — the reader sees first an extreme close up of the illustration and is asked to “Look”, then there’s a bit more of the illustration, “What do you see?” — when the full illustration comes into view, we get the answer. The illustrations are awesomely done paper collage, and the text is very simple. I loved it. Some reviews I saw said it was more like a lesson plan than a story book, but from my perspective it was a great way to get kids looking closely at nature, and at the illustrations, looking for clues to what they were really seeing.

    Check out my Friday blog post if you want to learn more about the book, and about the reason I’m highlighting nature books on a blog that’s usually about the arts…

    1. Good idea to focus on taking a closer look at nature, Beth!
      Paper collage sounds awesome…I know a collage artist in fact :)
      I’ll check out your blog for more info!

  8. I love BLUE CHICKEN. On this day, I actually re-read it because you wrote about it and reminded me about how much I love it. I am incredibly impressed by anybody who masters watercolor like Deborah has here. Remarkable. Deborah was kind enough to send me some autographed stickers to include in my book and others that I gave away as gifts. I was pretty psyched about that.

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