Bibliographic Info: Boynton, Sandra Philadelphia Chickens Workman Publishing (2002) 64pp $16.95 Formats: Hardcover with CD, ISBN: 978-0761126362 Interest Level: preK-grade 3 Genre: Song, Comedy and Humor Themes: Music, Animals, Dance
Summary: Philadelphia Chickens is a songbook with CD that includes 17 1/2 illustrated story-poems by Sandra Boynton. Composer Michael Ford, who also composed Boynton’s Rhinoceros Tap, transforms these story-poems into original songs performed by many well-known actors, including Patti LuPone, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Laura Linney, Eric Stoltz and Scott Bakula.
Philadelphia Chickens was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on May 8th, 2015 and has been selected for the PictureBookWOW collection at storytimeWOW.com.
Review: Philadelphia Chickens is a wacky, hilarious and toe-tapping musical show in a picture book. The piece is more than a book, it’s an event. Infectious showtunes are performed by an all-star cast who play original Boynton characters in an imaginary musical revue. Standout numbers include “Cows”, “Pig Island”, “Snuggle Puppy” and “Be Like a Duck”. The cast of childlike animal personalities appeal to kids of all ages. As always, Boynton’s colorful hand-drawn illustrations are full of visually expressive humor and emotion.
Storytime: Storytime is a great occassion and opportunity to share Philadelphia Chickens with groups of children. They will love it. Choose one story-poem/song to include in your weekly program throughout a Philadelphia Chickens-storytime sing-along series that lasts three months. In these storytimes, package and introduce the sing-along series and project your chosen story poem’s illustrations and lyrics onto a big screen to create a hilarious, enjoyable, toe-tapping and highly engaging sing-along story group experience.
Awards: Grammy nominee. #1 New York Times bestseller, Recording Industry Association of America Platinum album.
Bio (from Amazon.com): Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, children’s author, songwriter, producer, and director. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over fifty children’s books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times Bestsellers. More than 60 million of her books have been sold–“mostly to friends and family,” she says. She has also written (with Michael Ford) and produced five albums of renegade children’s music. Three of her five albums have been certified Gold [over 500,000 copies sold] and “Philadelphia Chickens,” nominated for a Grammy, has been certified Platinum [over 1 million copies sold.] Boynton has also directed six music videos of her songs, including the award-winning “One Shoe Blues” starring B B King. She lives in rural New England, and her studio is in a barn with perhaps the only hippopotamus weathervane in America.
I chose to review this musical in a picture book because it’s full of Sandra Boynton’s unique brand of humor and comedic characters. And moreover, storytime deserves more showstoppers.
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Written by Tom Schween