Chicken Butt!

by Erica S Perl (Author) Henry Cole (Illustrator)

Chicken Butt!
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
You know what?
Chicken butt!

The classic schoolyard joke has been recast as an irreverent picture book, with call-and-response parts for parent and child. The word repetition in Erica S. Perl's text, and wonderfully comic illustrations by beloved artist Henry Cole, make this a particularly inviting book for new readers, as does the opportunity to "trick" a parent or other adult into participating in a very silly joke. The humor builds to a surprising and satisfying conclusion. Warning: Kids will want to read this one over and over and over again! "An unhinged piece of slap-happy rhyming...rocket-propelled artwork...the romp is a powerful piece of cacophony, more frenetic by the moment."--Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly

Dad is engrossed in the paper, which of course makes him a ripe target for a silliness offensive by his son. You know what? says the boy, with a gleam in his eyes worthy of Bart Simpson. What? says unsuspecting parent, as a wide-eyed chicken peers around the corner, conspicuously out of place in their living room. CHICKEN BUTT! shouts the son, the words plastered on the airborne fowl's expansive backside. An increasingly hysteric call and response ensues, in which Chicken gives a hyper performance, Dad moves from bemused to exasperated and Perl ("Ninety-Three in My Family") manages to rhyme You know how? with chicken eyebrow and You know who? with chicken tattoo. Cole (the Katy Duck series), as wryly effervescent as ever, doesn't try to make this story anything more than it is: one of those treasured (by kids at least) moments of parent-child interaction that has no redeeming social value. When he covers a spread with CHICKEN BUTT! scrawled a dozen times on top of 18 emotive chickens, it's clear that mania is the message. Ages 36. "(Apr.)" Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2On the prefatory pages, a boy meets a chicken while at a newsstand with his father, and it follows him home. Once they are all settled on the couch, the chicken prompts the infamous rhyming conversation between father and son. "'You know what?' 'What?' 'Chicken butt.' 'You know why?' 'Why?' 'Chicken thigh!'" And so it goes. The plot is simplethe conversation escalates until the exasperated father says, "Enough! No more!" But the child continues, giving the story a new twist. Cole's illustrations and the page design work to make this book really enjoyable. The dialogue is written in different fontsthe father's in black in an authoritative typewriter font and the son's in bold red. The father, reading his newspaper, wants nothing more than some peace, while the boy cavorts with the pop-eyed chicken. The illustrations are manic and raucous, and the humor is evident throughout. This book would be fun to read aloud with children in two voices or act out at storytimes and in classrooms. Kids will definitely love it."Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ" Copyright 2009 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Erica S Perl
Erica S. Perl is a full-time writer and part-time chicken. She is the author of Chicken Butt!; Ninety-three in My Family (Reuben Award, Book Sense Pick, Slate's Best Books), which School Library Journal called a "comic masterpiece;" and Chicken Bedtime Is Really Early, which received a starred review from Booklist. She lives with her family in Washington, DC.

Arthur Howard is the illustrator of the Mr. Putter & Tabby series, Gooseberry Park series, and Motor Mouse series by Cynthia Rylant; Goatilocks and the Three Bears by Erica S. Perl; Noodle & Lou by Liz Garton Scanlon; and his own picture books. He has also coauthored and illustrated many books of humor for adults and appeared for seven seasons in the PBS math-oriented production Square One Television. He lives in New York City.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Harry N. Abrams
Publication date
April 20, 2009

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