Cover image for Chanticleer and the fox
Chanticleer and the fox
Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Nun's priest's tale
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 1986.

Physical Description:
36 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A sly fox tries to outwit a proud rooster through the use of flattery.
General Note:
"Adaptation of the 'Nun's priest's tale' from the Canterbury tales" -- T.p. verso.
Reading Level:
AD 840 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 113350.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 2 Quiz: 02037 Guided reading level: O.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Reference
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Award Winners
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



King of the barnyard, Chanticleer struts about all day. When a fox bursts into his domain, dupes him into crowing, and then grabs him in a viselike grip, Chanticleer must do some quick thinking to save himself and his barnyard kingdom.

Winner, 1959 Caldecott Medal
Notable Children's Books of 1940-1970 (ALA)
Winner, 1992 Kerlan Award

Author Notes

Geoffrey Chaucer, one of England's greatest poets, was born in London about 1340, the son of a wine merchant and deputy to the king's butler and his wife Agnes. Not much is known of Chaucer's early life and education, other than he learned to read French, Latin, and Italian. His experiences as a civil servant and diplomat are said to have developed his fascination with people and his knowledge of English life.

In 1359-1360 Chaucer traveled with King Edward III's army to France during the Hundred Years' War and was captured in Ardennes. He returned to England after the Treaty of Bretigny when the King paid his ransom. In 1366 he married Philippa Roet, one of Queen Philippa's ladies, who gave him two sons and two daughters.

Chaucer remained in royal service traveling to Flanders, Italy, and Spain. These travels would all have a great influence on his work. His early writing was influenced by the French tradition of courtly love poetry, and his later work by the Italians, especially Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch.

Chaucer wrote in Middle English, the form of English used from 1100 to about 1485. He is given the designation of the first English poet to use rhymed couplets in iambic pentameter and to compose successfully in the vernacular.

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a collection of humorous, bawdy, and poignant stories told by a group of fictional pilgrims traveling to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket. It is considered to be among the masterpieces of literature. His works also include The Book of the Duchess, inspired by the death of John Gaunt's first wife; House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls, and The Legend of Good Women. Troilus and Criseyde, adapted from a love story by Boccaccio, is one of his greatest poems apart from The Canterbury Tales.

Chaucer died in London on October 25, 1400. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, in what is now called Poet's Corner.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5-9. Jaunty art from the Disney archives graces every page in Roberts' sprightly retelling of a well-known Chaucerian tale. Chanti~c~leer, his cockiness en~hanced by the mistaken impres~sion that his crowing makes the sun rise as well as by the admiration of the hens, runs for mayor. His elec~tion turns him into a nagging task~master, who demands that the hens produce more and more eggs. Thus, when sneaky Reynard enters the vil~lage, the frazzled hens are only too happy to respond to the fox's atten~tion. He easily gains their support when he decides to oppose Chanti~cleer in the next election. His pride and anger aroused, the rooster challenges Senor Poco Loco, Reynard's friend and an undefeated dueler, to a duel. Just at the crucial moment, Chanti~cleer is saved by the village police dog. The fox escapes, and Chanti~cleer announces a whole~some balance between work and play for the hens.~~ The cartoon-style line and color wash drawings reveal the spunky and energetic characters with panache, and the message won't be lost on young readers. A guarant~eed hit and a great read-aloud. ~--Deborah Abbott

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-- Chanticleer may be a pompous old bird who needs to be taught a lesson , but he certainly never deserved such a misconceived picture book as this one. The illustrations and text are both lackluster and feeble. Missing are any touches of Chaucer's ribald tone and implicit violence or the lyrical charm of Cooney's Caldecott Medal picture book (Crowell, 1961). What this version has instead are Reynard's convoluted plans to defeat Chanticleer as mayor and a duel between Chanticleer and the notorious rooster, Senor Poco Loco (who is depicted just as stereotypically as his name implies). The illustrations, taken from a backlog of Disney storyboards that never saw the light of completion, are executed in pen-and-ink with watercolor washes and, like a good storyboard should, describe the action in a broad manner. However, storyboards do not make good picture books. Objects are suspended in air and figures jump, stand, and even juggle without benefit of a background. The page design is crowded with a cramped type style. And probably the cheapest shot of all is using the same illustration for both the first and last page. Overlook this tacky attempt and track down additional copies of Cooney's version. For more background on the character of Reynard, look to Selina Hastings's excellent Reynard the Fox (Tambourine, 1991), illustrated with Graham Percy's accomplished and delightful colored-pencil drawings. --Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University , Normal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.