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Read-Alouds and Elephants Of Surprise

"Interrupting Chicken And The Elephant Of Surprise" by David Ezra Stein.

Myra here.

I have a confession to make. I have yet to read the first book in the Interrupting Chicken series (Amazon | Book Depository), the first book having won the Caldecott Honor award back in 2011 and which I have even posted about here. But that did not stop me from reading the sequel, because my reading will not be interrupted – no ma’am.


Interrupting Chicken And The Elephant Of Surprise (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written and Illustrated by David Ezra Stein
Published by Candlewick Press (2018)
ISBN: 0763688428 (ISBN13: 9780763688424) Borrowed from Singapore’s NLB Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Little Red Chicken comes home from school, excitedly telling her Papa that the teacher taught them about the elephant of surprise in stories. Her homework is to read books and find it!

Despite Papa Chicken’s detailed explanation about the understandable confusion with the terminologies, Little Red simply wouldn’t be swayed, and was doubly determined to find the elephant – and guess what, she did!

It is rare nowadays to have picturebooks make me laugh uproariously, but this one did – so much so that my husband asked what was going on with me. This is the absolute perfect picturebook to feature for our World In Books theme.

Just seeing Little Red chicken hug the book close to her (see image above), and Papa Chicken read patiently out loud – with a measure of trepidation at actually finding elephants in beloved tales – has made my stone-cold heart melt. How I wish I could get my hands on the first book soon!


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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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