Children's Bookshelf: The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

Oct 2, 2017

This week on the Children's Bookshelf, we review The Rooster Who Would Not Be Queit!, a delightful story by Carmen Deedy. 


The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! is told in folk tale motif by consummate storyteller Carmen Deedy and illustrated perfectly by Eugene Yelchin.

The tale begins with a happy community where music and all sorts of voicings and sounds can be heard.  

After a while, however, people start complaining about the loud and constant noise in the streets and elect a mayor to get the noise under control. With a polite law he requests the people to stop all loud singing in public. That works well but the laws keep coming.  “NO LOUD SINGING AT HOME” to “NO LOUD SINGING” to “NO SINGING.”

After seven quiet years, a rooster, having set up a home in one of the village’s mango trees, awakens the village with his sunrise call. The mayor is furious and tells the rooster to stop singing. But the rooster is singing because the mango tree smells so sweet. The mayor cuts the mango tree down but the rooster says he will still sing because he has his family around him.  When the mayor threatens to kill the rooster, the rooster says song will never die “as long as there is someone to sing it.”

Meanwhile, the people come from behind shuttered windows and onto the streets to sing.

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin is an important story for 4-8 year olds and all who cherish their freedom to sing (Scholastic Press, 2017). 

Questions and Activities for 'The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!'

Study the illustrations again and respond to the following questions on the basis of visual information: How do you know this village enjoys singing and making sounds at the beginning of this book? How does the artist let you know that the people of the village become tired of hearing so much noise in the village square?  What visual clues tell you that the new mayor becomes increasingly unhappy with the rooster’s song? Why is there one illustration rendered in black with the rooster’s Kee-kee-ree-KEE! written across it? From the pictures who do you think actually kicks Mayor Pepe out of town?

The rooster says song will never die “so long as there is someone to sing it.” What does this statement mean to you? Have you ever been asked to be quiet, don’t talk or make any noise whatsoever? Please think of an example when you felt that request was reasonable and an example of when you felt that request was not reasonable.

Study the picture of the people looking outside from behind shutters and the  picture of the people in the last illustration. Compare the feelings shown on their facial expressions. Draw a picture of your community out and about riding bikes, taking dos for a walk, running, having lunch, shopping and most of all TALKING.