Chanticleer and the Fox - by Geoffrey Chaucer, adapted by Barbara Cooney
1959 Caldecott Medal Winner, Notable Children's Books of 1940-1970 (ALA)
Chaucer, always the master storyteller, warns of the dangers of flattery and failing to hold one’s tongue. Children will love this fun story, accompanied by Barbara Cooney’s lovely illustrations. Excellent read-aloud for all ages.
About the Author:
Barbara Cooney (1917-2000) illustrated more than a hundred books. During her nearly sixty year career, she illustrated the works of many distinguished writers. Barbara Cooney's adaptations of classic and folk tales avoid the pitfalls common in adapting well-known books into children's stories. She won the Caldecott medal in 1959 for Chanticleer and the Fox, adapted from Chaucer's The Nun's Priest's Tale. One reviewer noted that Cooney, "by quoting the most delightful parts of the tale, has given young children a happy foretaste of Chaucer rather than the simplified, flavorless outline usual in adaptations." Her illustrations, observed another, "spread brilliantly over the pages, the country scenes filled with medieval details gleaned from study of old manuscripts."
In the later part of her career Cooney focused on writing and illustrating more books of her own, and these were equally well--received. Miss Rumphius, for which the author won both the American Book Award and a New York Times citation in 1982, was inspired by the true story of a woman who traveled the world collecting flower seeds and came home at last to make something beautiful. From her acceptance speech for the 1959 Caldecott Medal: “I believe that children in this country need a more robust literary diet than they are getting. It does not hurt them to read about good and evil, love and hate, life and death. Nor do I think they should read only about things that they understand. 'A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.' So should a child’s. For myself, I will never talk down to—or draw down to—children.”