Chickens are by far one of my favorite farm animals. So, naturally, I have many chicken books to share! After a whole slew of general chicken books, I’ve even included some books that retell the popular chicken tales of the Little Red Hen and Henny Penny/Chicken Little.
The booklist is arranged by the recommended age group in bold. Click here for a PDF version.
A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke
One of many stories about a beautiful white hen named Minerva. She wants to go out in the snow, but it is cold outside. What things can she use that will help keep her warm? The kids will understand why certain objects will work and others won’t.
Hurry, Hurry! by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Jeff Mack
An excited papa-to-be gathers everyone in the farmyard to watch the arrival of his chick. It has a lot of repetition.
Five Little Chicks by Nancy Tafuri
Five little chicks are hungry. But, what is the best food for the chicks? Each chick has an idea, but mama knows best. This book can be done as a finger play or even acted out.
Rosie’s Walk is a classic. Join Rosie as she, unknowingly, leads a fox on a difficult journey, one that keeps her safe and him bruised. In Where, Oh Where, is Rosie’s Chick?, Rosie has a chick. While it is hatching, Rosie can’t find her. So, she goes on a walk where the chick is following her. But, a fox and other creatures are also following the chick. With the help from some chickens, Rosie discovers where her baby is.
Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman
As with Himmelman’s Pigs to the Rescue! and Cows to the Rescue, these farm animals just want to make life easy peasy for their owners–but their good intentions always seem to miss the mark. When the family members come across some issue, the chickens go to the rescue…or do they? The illustrations help bring out the irony in the phrase “Chickens to the rescue!”
P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis
P. Zonka is not at all like the other hens in her coop, and they remind her of it. But, when she finally lays eggs like everyone else, they appreciate why she is the way she is. Perfect for the Easter holiday.
Louise: The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Harry Bliss
Louise the chicken isn’t so chicken. In fact, she yearns to go on adventures. After she goes on one, she always arrives comfortably back to the henhouse to safely relate her tales to her sisters. Written with chapters, but you could read one a day.
Chicken Story Time by Sandy Asher and illustrated by Mark Fearing
What happens if one chicken enjoys story time at a library? He invited his friends to come! Soon story time is filled with chickens. How ever will the story time librarian deal with this pickle?
New Socks by Bob Shea
Ever get something new and it just makes you so happy? That just happened to this chick. He gets some new (orange!) socks and he is loving life the way any toddler and preschooler would: silly.
Smick! by Doreen Cronin
See how a dog and a chick form a friendship. A fun read aloud that includes lots of words that rhyme with the dog friendly word “stick,” and, incidentally (or maybe not), with “chick,” too.
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? as interpreted by 14 different artists
I remember when I first crossed paths with this book. It is refreshing because it not only works as a joke book, but your eyes get a delightful fresh look with each page turns. 14 differently styled artists respond to the ever asked question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
A chick wants a bedtime story, but she keeps interrupting her dad as she tries to help the characters. But who will interrupt whom during the last tale told?
Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez, and illustrated by Dan Santat
Hehe. Schwartz takes the familiar tale of “Hansel and Gretel” and turns them from seemingly helpless kids into ninja chickens. Their parents go missing, so they decide to save them. However, they are sabotaged from rescuing their kidnapped parents…by Hensel being duped (a cornbread house!) and kidnapped! Can Gretel save the day?
Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett
Brett dolls up her chickens for a retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella. It is true to the fairy tale we all know, with the only difference being species. Cinders, who gets bullied and neglected, gets to go to the ball. There she gets picked by Prince Cockerel to dance. With buildings and art inspired by Russia, this picture book is a gem for the eyes to feast on.
Kele’s Secret by Tololwa M. Mollel and illustrated by Catherine Stock
A fun look at the habits of free ranged, laying chickens! Yoanes is commissioned by his grandparents to collect eggs to sell at the market. He typically is able to find them in random places, but not Kele’s. Kele is one chicken whose eggs he is having a hard time finding. Will he ever locate them?
The Chicken Sisters by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Sharleen Collicott
The sisters like to help out but are not always the best at what they do and, in fact, annoy their neighbors. But, their ways have advantages when a new neighbor moves in. This story is a retelling of “The Three Little Pigs” in which the sisters outwit the wolf with their good intentions and win the affections of their annoyed neighbors.
The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornell
Chicken siblings investigate a strange thing a neighbor squirrel tells them. A cute easy chapter book.
Louise Trapeze Did NOT Lose the Juggling Chickens by Micol Ostowand illustrated by Brigette Barrager
Louise wins some juggling chickens, but taking care of them is trickier than she thought. Grab this one for a kid who desires to be a budding chicken rancher.
Henny Penny/Chicken Little
Before you delve into these guys, make sure to read the popular Henny Penny by Paul Galdone. Then, your child will have a base upon which to see the humor and note what changed in these other Henny Penny/Chicken Little tales.
The Sky is Falling! by Mark Teague
Everyone thinks Chicken Little has gone bonkers by thinking the sky is falling after getting hit by a harmless acorn. Little does everyone know that Chicken Little actually knows why the acorn hit her and is creating a decoy to sabotage the acorn thrower.
Henny-Penny by Jane Wattenberg
In this retelling of the Henny Penny/Chicken Little tale, Henny-Penny ends up not inside the fox unlike her other feathered friends…all because it dawns on her she has to go lay an egg. This retelling shines in its picture collages and quirky phrasing. Clever and probably will do best with older children who will spend time to pour over and enjoy the humor in the art.
Chicken Little by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley
A toddler friendly telling of Chicken Little. The only real difference in this version of the story is that at the end everyone is coughed out. The art is bright and bold.
Yummy: Eight Tales by Lucy Cousins
Of the eight tales included, one is Henny Penny (another one is “The Little Red Hen!”). The story is pretty true to the original tale, but with fresh rhyming names for the fowls (such as “Goosey Poosey”) and Henny Penny escapes while her friends were eaten.
Chicken Little by Steven Kellogg
In this retelling, Foxy Loxy watches everyone croon over acorn-hit Chicken Little. But, instead of duking it out 6:1, he decides to disguise himself as the police officer they are calling for. After telling them he will help them, they get into his truck. Chicken Little, however, notices it is not an officer, but the wanted Foxy Loxy. Foxy Loxy laughs at them and shows them what the “sky” was–an acorn. Just when it seems like life is not in their favor, Foxy Loxy throws the acorn up into the air and creates his own demise. How? Read and find out!
The Little Red Hen
As with the retellings of Henny Penny/Chicken Little, before you explore any other Little Red Hen retellings read by The Little Red Hen Paul Galdone. It will give a nice base for your child to compare or contrast.
The Red Hen by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley
In this retelling of “The Little Red Hen,” Hen wants to make a cake. Cat, rat, and frog do not want to help mix, bake, or ice it, but, of course, they do want to help eat it! This Hen does not let them help her eat it. This book is very simple as it will work well with toddlers.
The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philemon Struges
Hen has three friends: Dog, Cat, and Duck. Every time she asks for help to go to different shops or to help make dough, her friends do not want to help. But, what she does and her friends do after the pizza is ready to eat makes this retelling ripe for a discussion on being generous and helpful.
Yummy: Eight Tales by Lucy Cousins
Like I stated above, this compilation includes “The Little Red Hen” as well as “Henny Penny.” This retelling, like with “The Little Red Hen,” is true to the original. It is illustrated with bright colors and has simple sentences, making it perfect for toddlers.
Busy-Busy Little Chick by Karen Harrington and illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Little Chick’s mama gets distracted by tasty treats to fix her house, so Little Chick gathers the materials to fix it up. While this story is not a true retelling of “The Little Red Hen,” Busy-Busy Little Chick is similar. It’s actually a retelling of a Central African tale, “The Hen’s House.” It would be terrific to use to discuss comparison, just like you would do with a true retelling of the familiar “Little Red Hen.” For instance, what character trait does both Little Chick and the Little Red Hen have?
Do you know of any other books that include chickens? Please share with us!