The Red Hen

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Early Learning, Print Motivation, Storybox Idea | 0 comments

This is the kind of book that’s perfect for readers’ theater, a Storybox, or the dramatic play area. It has a straight-forward plot, few characters, and easy dialogue. The Red Hen by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley is a bright retelling of the classic folktale.  This version is way less wordy than some I have seen (and not used). The Red Hen wants to make a cake, but the cat, the rat, and the frog don’t want to help. Every time the Red Hen asks for assistance, the answer is the same:
‘Not I,’ said the cat.
‘Not I,’ said the rat.
‘Bribbit,’ said the frog.”

Of course, Red Hen is undaunted. “I will do it myself.” And in the end, when the cake is ready to be eaten, Red Hen does that herself, too. I like this version better than some I have seen because the text is short enough for my youngest listeners but the folktale we’re all familiar with has been preserved. The art is large and bold in typical Emberley style, so it works for a group read-aloud. After one reading, all your little ones will chime in with cat, rat, frog and hen. Put this in a Storybox or a dramatic play area with puppets or masks to build those narrative retelling skills, and if you’re feeling culinary like Red Hen, make the recipe included on the last pages. Just be sure you don’t have to make the cake all by yourself.


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