Dashed into the library yesterday at noon to find a read aloud. I'm in between chapter books and just needed something quick and fun to fulfill my promise of reading to my fourth and fifth graders every single day. I had read about CHICKEN CHEEKS somewhere (YEAR OF READING?) and was delighted to find it in the new book bin in our library. I was definitely not disappointed!
So here is the story- on the first page, a bear sees a beehive way up at the top of a tiny, skinny, scrawny little tree. Of course, he can't reach it, so he enlists the help of his friends, who climb on to the top of a precarious pile, trying to reach the hive. Each page is a different animal's rear end-- chicken cheeks, a polar bear derriere, flamingo fanny, guinea pig buns, etc. I'm not sure which is funnier- the animals' rear ends or their faces as they struggle to maintain their place in the pile. And if you look carefully at the pictures, you'll notice an important subtext that plays in at the end…
My fourth grade boys loved CHICKEN CHEEKS. I read it once, then had to read it again when the fifth graders arrived from play practice. One of the boys stayed after class to complete a reading inventory and shared the book with a third grader who had come in to see me about something else. Of course he made me promise to read it to his group today.
CHICKEN CHEEKS is a book I could use to talk about word choice, or alliteration, or synonyms, and I might, at sometime in the future, but today we just flat out enjoyed…a groaning, guffawing, giggling read that I know I will have to purchase more than once, because kids will wear it out. Fun, fun, fun!