Cover image for Crabby Cratchitt
Crabby Cratchitt
Maguire, Gregory.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
32 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Crabby Cratchitt has a hen whose constant clucking is so annoying, Crabby devises a plan to cook her in a frying pan.
Reading Level:
AD 360 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 45317.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.6 2 Quiz: 31599 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Crabby Cratchitt has a farm . . . and a hen that won't stop clucking! Crabby schemes and plots and tries everything she can to put an end to the eternal clucking, but nothing works. The noisy hen won't leave old Crabby alone. But when the hen falls silent at last, could it be that the farm is a little too quiet for Crabby, after all? A familiar rhythm, clever rhymes, and hilariously expressive illustrations deliver a surprise ending to this rollicking, laugh-out-loud story about a unique friendship.

Author Notes

Gregory Maguire was born June 9, 1954 in Albany, New York. He received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany and a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Tufts University. He is a founder and co-director of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987.

He writes for both adults and children. His first book, The Lighting Time, was published in 1978. His adult works include Wicked, Confessions of and Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men. The Broadway play Wicked is based on his book of the same title. His children's books include the picture book Crabby Cratchitt, the novel The Good Liar, and the Hamlet Chronicles series.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Crabby Cratchitt is a crusty farmer who can't abide the incessant clucking of her hen. The noise is so awful she can't even get her nap, so Crabby decides to take care of the problem for good--and have herself a chicken dinner besides. But her attempts to do the chicken in fail; and when she discovers a clutch of eggs, she has visions of maddening, clucking chickens everywhere! Just as she is about to sell the eggs at market, a lurking fox makes a grab for the hen, and Crabby undergoes a heroic change of heart to come to the rescue. The story is somewhat confusing, as the verse is partly a match for "Old MacDonald" ("Crabby Cratchitt had a hen, EIEIO"), and the art is occasionally so overloaded with line and texture that the action of a scene is obscured. Still, the pictures have a rumpled, crumpled look that perfectly suggests Crabby's crabby persona, and there's lots of lively action. A mixed bag, better for larger collections. --Tim Arnold

Publisher's Weekly Review

Erratic improvisations on "Old Macdonald Had a Farm" frustrate attempts to sing along with this so-so story of a female farmer and her chicken. Crabby Cratchitt has a hen ("E-I-E-I-oh"). Every time the gray-haired farmer tries to nap, she wakes to "a cluck cluck here/ and a cluck cluck there./ Too much clucking everywhere." Crabby Cratchitt grabs a hatchet and chases the garrulous bird all over the farm, but she has a change of heart when a fox nearly finishes the job. Glass's (Monster Manners) caricatures of the barnyard antics recall Paul Brett Johnson's folktale illustrations. Bony, pot-bellied Crabby wears an incongruous outfit of brown skirt and yellow rain boots, and the scenery includes a ramshackle pickup truck, chicken wire and a profusion of straw. Maguire (Five Alien Elves) explains that the maddening "here a cluck,/ there a cluck,/ sounded like a record stuck." Yet his couplets skip like a stuck record, too, from "Crabby had a clever plan./ She'd cook that hen in a frying pan!" to "Crabby Cratchitt, at it still./ That hen was pretty hard to kill." These singsong stanzas require repetitive images of the scowling Crabby and her victorious hen, and this slapstick combination quickly gets stale. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-"Crabby Cratchitt had a farm,/E-I-E-I-oh./And on that farm she had a hen,/E-I-E-I-oh," begins Maguire's silly twist on the familiar song. "Here a cluck,/there a cluck,/sounded like a record stuck." The noisy little hen foils every plot the elderly woman hatches to get rid of her, from a net trap to a hatchet, but when a fox grabs the annoying chicken, Crabby comes to the rescue. The rhyming text successfully moves the plot along, with only an occasional falter or awkward phrasing. The lengthy conclusion smacks of melodrama: "`Cluck?' she said again. `Please cluck?'/The hen held still./The hen looked ill." Glass's watercolor, pencil, and oil crayon illustrations create a lively, rumpled backdrop for the expressively comic characters. A lightweight romp that children will flock to.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.