Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Picture Book Review: Chanticleer and the Fox By Geoffrey Chaucer Illustrated by Barbara Cooney

When I was in college I decided to take a course on Chaucer. Well, let us just say that it was the hardest class I had ever taken. We read Chaucer in Middle English and it may as well have been reading it in a whole other language. If you think Shakespeare is hard to understand try reading Chaucer in Middle English. Chanticleer and the Fox is a retelling of one of Chaucer's tales. To be honest I don't remember reading this tale though I'm sure I did.  This book managed to cover a number of reading challenges I'm doing including The Old School Kid Lit, 1001 children's books, and The Picture book Challenge.

The tale is of a fox luring in a vane Rooster. Using flattery he manages to catch the Rooster. The Rooster uses similar logic to free himself from the fox.

I have never read this book before. I enjoyed the illustrations immensely. I am to understand that the illustrator actually researched artwork of that time. It is reflected in the art style. I love the simple color palettes and it really does make you feel like you are looking at an old tapestry or centuries old book.

The story itself is a good one but honestly I think it may be above the level of some younger children. The writing is not a familiar style to most children so some may struggle to understand it. Though I'm sure there are many who would enjoy it especially with the unique art style.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for participating in Old School Kidlit this month. There is a link-up post on my blog today if you want to share your reviews so others can find them.

    I also took a college class where we read Chaucer in Middle English, and I completely agree that it was really hard. I was always impressed when my professor read aloud from the text.