Great Illustrated Books

Chicken Cheeks

By Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Simon & Schuster Children, 2009
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 3-7
ISBN: 1416948643

The front flap says, "This is a story with a beginning, a middle, and a whole lot of ends." The back cover says, "The end is rear." In between is a story told in pictures, about a bear that stacks an array of animals atop his head to reach the top of a tree. Each double page spread is labeled with one or two rhyming or alliterative words describing each animal's posterior. The bear, perched atop a ladder, lifts a duck onto his head. The caption? "Duck tail." Next, a moose perches atop the duck's head and bill. "Moose caboose," it reads. For each animal, painted in acrylics and edged in black, there's a good view of its hind quarters-nothing prurient, just funny. Rising higher still are the penguin patootie, polar bear derriere, turkey tushy, and gnu wazoo, and still the tower of animals ascends. At the pinnacle is the duck-billed platypus gluteus maximus. Kids will love following the story-within-the-story, watching two persevering ants inch up the bodies of the animals on each page.

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If you love this book, then try:

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Arnold, Tedd. Parts. Dial, 1997.

Cleary, Brian P. How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear?: What Are Homonyms and Homophones? (Words are CATegorical series). Millbrook, 2005.

Ghigna, Charles. See the Yak Yak. Random House, 1999.

Gwynne, Fred. A Chocolate Moose for Dinner. Dutton, 1976.

Gwynne, Fred. The King Who Rained. Dutton, 1970.

Hepworth, Cathi. Antics!: An Alphabetical Anthology. Putnam, 1992.

Hepworth, Cathi. Bug Off!: A Swarm of Insect Words. Putnam, 1998.

Leedy, Loreen. Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story. Holiday House, 2008.

Leedy, Loreen. There's a Frog in My Throat: 440 Animal Sayings a Little Bird Told Me. Holiday House, 2003.

Palatini, Margie. Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes. Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Rohmann, Eric. My Friend, Rabbit. Roaring Brook, 2002.

Steig, William. CDB. Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Critics have said

Filled with visual jokes and amusing details, Chicken Cheeks is a lot more than a list of words for kids to snicker at.
School Library Journal