Hayward, L. (2006). The King's Chorus. New York: Clarion.
Kadoodle the rooster crows at all hours throughout the night, leaving all the people and other creatures on the farm exhausted. Despite the other animals trying to talk to him, Kadoodle still won't stop crowing through the night because he is the King of the Barnyard. So, Honketta decides to put Kadoodle in his place by telling him about the King of the World.
The King's Chorus takes on religious significance since it explores the reason roosters crow in relation to God.
Jennifer P. Goldfinger's artwork is beautifully done, with colorful brushstrokes that realistically capture the farm. Apparently Goldfinger grew up on a farm and her only research for this book involved "waking up early to watch the sun rise." That's my kind of research...except that it involves getting up early.
Sharing The King's Chorus with students could lead to a discussion on being considerate of others and how to negotiate difficult situations and conflicts with classmates and friends. It also touches on issues of power and authority, which will seem very familiar to kids who often try to verbally one-up each other.
It can also give fun insights into farm life or trigger research on the various animals mentioned (or students more familiar with farms could draw on knowledge they already have and dictate or co-create their own stories about animals in response.
Since the story also features a dream Kadoodle has, a teacher could lead children to discuss their dreams or turn them into stories.
If a teacher felt inclined to share this story's religious significance, after finishing it as a read aloud, he or she could discuss prayer as a way for God, I mean, the "King" to hear people.
Quotes of Note:
"Kadoodle was not like most roosters.
Most roosters crow at the break of day. Kadoodle crowed at the break of anything."
"Kadoodle paid no attention. He knew he was King of the Barnyard. And as king, he would do exactly what he wanted."
"I'm the King!" said Kadoodle proudly. "The King of the Barnyard," that's me!"
"Yes, but I was sent by the King of the World," explained Honketta. "He lives in the sky."