Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Little Red Hen

Galdone, Paul (Author/Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2011. 40 pages
First published: 1973
Series: Folk Tale Classic
ISBN: 9780547370187 (hardcover)
9780547770314 (e-book)
Original language: English
Dewey: 398.24
Book type: Picture Book
Book genre: Folklore

Text Elements:

character, recurring patterns, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this house, the cat naps on a sprung-out couch, the dog snoozes on a fraying porch hammock and the mouse rests near a mess of spinning wool. Only the hen is busy.

Rhythmic repetition in the language is great fun to read aloud: “She cooked the meals and washed the dishes and made the beds. She swept the floor and washed the windows and mended the clothes.”

Expressive images use loose line and watercolour effects. The hen scythes flowing stalks of wheat, grown and watered by her own wing. She carries her bundle to the mill, returns with her sack of flour. Meanwhile, the other animals provide a visual ode to sloth. Their sleepy faces poke through the typography: “‘Not I,’ said the cat. ‘Not I,’ said the dog” their chins resting against the blank page, their sinuous forms draped in imaginative poses of recline.

But postures change when it’s time to eat. Bug-eyed, the lazy animals watch the hen enjoy the last crumbs of her cake, “all by myself.” This version of the tale finishes with the lesson well learned: “After that, whenever there was work to be done, the little red hen had three very eager helpers.”

  •  

    Discuss the chores that you do around the house. Why are chores an important part of classroom and home life?

  •  

    Are you more like the hen or like the cat, dog and mouse when it comes to chores? Do you try to avoid your responsibilities or do you do your part?

  •  

    As the story is read aloud a second time, join in for the repetitive “Not I!” passages.

  •  

    As a group, create a similar story with your parents or teacher as the main character.

  •  

    What chores can be done at home? Discuss why it is important to help out.

  •  

    As the story is read aloud, join in for the repetitive “Not I!” passages.

  •  

    As a group, create a similar story with a parent or your teacher as the main character.

  •  

    Are you more like the hen or like the cat, dog and mouse when it comes to chores? Discuss how chores are an important part of both classroom and home life.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Ethics and Religious Culture