Jul 25, 2011
The Valiant Red Rooster
The Valiant Red Rooster: A Story from Hungary by Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrated by Katya Arnold
"Once upon a time a valiant red rooster lived with a kindly old woman." The woman had always taken good care of the rooster feeding him daily, but she fell on hard times and had no money to feed the rooster or herself. So the rooster headed out to find a way to feed them both. Everyday, the valiant rooster would find enough wheat to turn to flour and bake into bread. One day, while looking for wheat, the rooster found a diamond button. He was heading to the market to trade it for what he knew would be enough food for a lifetime, when a greedy sultan saw the button and took it away from him. The valiant rooster never gave up and no matter how many times the sultan and his helpers tried to get rid of him, the rooster came coming back. Using all his smarts and amazing capacity for holding things inside his gizzard, he finally got the diamond back and traded it at the market. The valiant red rooster and his owner were able to eat until they were never hungry again.
The Valiant Red Rooster: A Story from Hungary is a folktale about justice and perseverance. The resourcefulness of the rooster as well as the clever and funny ways he find to defeat the sultan every time, will keep young readers entertained. The illustrations by Katya Arnold are very interesting: watercolors (mostly reds, pinks, orange, and ochre) are given some sharp edges with black line that was drawn over the watercolors. It's a good folktale to use in the classroom for sequencing activities and for comparative studies since there are versions of the same story from different countries (The Good Master, Medio Pollito).