Philadelphia Chickens: A Too-Illogical Zoological Musical Revue

Philadelphia Chickens: A Too-Illogical Zoological Musical Revue

by Sandra Boynton, Michael Ford

Hardcover(Book & CD)

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Grammy nominee. #1 New York Times bestseller. And, with 1 million copies in print, a Recording Industry Association of America Platinum album. What an event! What a show! It’s Philadelphia Chickens—the catchy and quirky, tuneful and toe-tapping, exuberant, unexpected, and totally endearing family-musical-in-a-book.

Here is a full-color songbook of 17 1/2 illustrated story-poems, and a full-length, fully orchestrated CD of original songs performed by such luminaries as Patti LuPone, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, The Bacon Brothers, and Laura Linney, who pleads "Please, Can I Keep It?—it followed me home. / What exactly it is/ I don't know." Also joining in are Eric Stoltz, Scott Bakula, and two Boyntons, including daughter Caitlin McEwan, who performs a piece that every little listener will relate to—a love song to the chocolate chip cookies that are just out of reach. With the collaboration of composer Michael Ford, Philadelphia Chickens is that rarest of kids' musical discs—one whose inimitable lyrics and music make it as irresistible to parents as it is to their children.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761126362
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/18/2002
Edition description: Book & CD
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 72,435
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 6 - 12 Years

About the Author

Sandra Boynton is a beloved American cartoonist, children’s author, songwriter, and highly sporadic short film director. Boynton has written and illustrated sixty children’s books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers. More than 70 million of her books have been sold—“mostly to friends and family,” she says. Boynton has also written and produced six albums of unconventional children’s music; three of her albums have been certified Gold (over 500,000 copies sold), and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has gone Platinum (over one million copies sold). Boynton has also written and directed eleven short musical films and two animated shorts, including “Tyrannosaurus Funk,” sung by Samuel L. Jackson, which won the 2018 Grand Prize for Best Children’s Animation Short from the Rhode Island International Film Festival. In 2008, Boynton received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society. Boynton has four perfect children and an equally perfect granddaughter. Her Connecticut studio is in a converted barn that has perhaps the only hippopotamus weathervane in America.


Michael Ford, Sandra Boynton’s esteemed collaborator on Philadelphia Chickens and Rhinoceros Tap, is a classically trained composer and pianist, with a long detour in Progressive Rock performance. He and his family live down the road a spell from Sandy.


"Somewhere in rural Connecticut"

Date of Birth:

April 3, 1953

Place of Birth:

Orange, New Jersey


B.A., Yale University, 1974; attended University of California--Berkeley Drama School and Yale Drama School

Table of Contents

PART ONE—LOOK AS YOU LISTEN—Spiffy illustrations of all the songs on your Chicken Disc (CD)

PART TWO—SING & PLAY ALONG—All 3 billion or so words to the songs, plus selected music notation

COWS—sung by The Seldom Herd

NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME—sung by Meryl Streep

PHILADELPHIA CHICKENS—sung by The Bacon Brothers

BE LIKE A DUCK—sung by Keith Boynton

PLEASE, CAN I KEEP IT?—sung by Laura Linney

I LIKE TO FUSS—sung by Patti LuPone

SNOOZERS—sung by The Bacon Brothers

FARAWAY COOKIES—sung by Caitlin McEwan

THE INTERMISSION SONG!—sung by Aaaardvarks

FIFTEEN ANIMALS—sung by John Stey

BELLY BUTTON—sung by The Heath Sisters

BUSYBUSYBUSY—sung by Kevin Kline

THOSE DINOSAUR BLUES—sung by Michael Ford

DINOSAUR, DINOSAUR—sung by Darcy Boynton

JUMP ROPE JIVE—sung by Beth Andrien

PIG ISLAND—sung by Scott Bakula

PAJAMA TIME—sung by Adam Bryant

SILLY LULLABY—Natasha Richardson

PHILADELPHIA CHICKENS—instrumental reprise

Customer Reviews

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Philadelphia Chickens 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
absolutely hilarious!
Joles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amusing book these songs are very original and the performers on the CD are well known celebrities. Anyone interested in a good laugh should read Philadelphia Chickens!
bostonian71 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A stellar collection of silly songs. I especially love the performances by famous folks like Meryl Streep, Scott Bakula, and the Bacon Brothers.
jazdewills on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful collection of silly songs, written by Sandra Boynton and performed by a plethora of celebrities - Kevin Bacon, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and more. GREAT music for the whole family to clean house to!
tripleblessings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This hardcover book comes with a CD recording of the songs. The book isn't too great on its own - the music is really the fun part. Excellent recordings by fine musicians, with full "real" instrumental arrangements - no synthesizers like on some cheap recordings for children. Boynton's words are fun, and many songs have catchy rhythms and repeated hooks that really appeal to kids. Boynton's likeable cartoon animals illustrate the crazy songs and add to the appeal for all ages. Our family didn't like this recording when the kids were preschoolers - it was a bit too complex and demanding to listen to. Now at age 7 our kids love it, and want to play the music and read along in the scores, and they love the jokes. We parents find it very funny too, with many good parodies of Broadway show songs, rock and blues and other popular genres. Favourite songs include "Cows", "Be like a duck", "Busybusybusy" and "Those Dinosaur Blues". Some of the songs have been published in board book form, like "Pajama Time" and "Snoozers". A winner for kids from kindergarten to grade 4 or so.
Mamacat531 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely the best kids' music CD ever!  Funny, catchy, sweet, smart & silly.  I bought this when my son was about two, because we loved the Sandra Boynton books.  He's now nearly eleven, and we STILL love listening to this.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
I love good music, funny songs and Sandra Boynton, so, of course, I love this book and CD. Which is for all ages except 43. :) My favorite group on the CD has got to be the Bacon Brothers because they have that Brian Setzer swing-thing going on. Also, if you ever wanted to hear Kevin Kline sing, this would be your chance.  The lyrics (and therefore the written text) are perfectly ridiculous, with emphasis on the perfect. And Sandra Boynton's illustrations match, again perfectly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son loves this book and CD. We use the CD more than the book. My husband and I don't mind listening to it either. It's fun for all and shakes things up from the same ol' same ol' children's music. Makes a great gift too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the fact that the kids are exposed to different types of music while recognizing the lyrics are stories they have had read to them over, and over and over. We play it in the van full of grandkids, and ok, I admit, I often listen to it when just me in the van! All ages will love this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My young granddaughter enjoys creative dancing and gymnastics. This joyful and silly music provides her with the perfect media for listening and interacting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Receiving this as a gift for our newborn grandson produced marvelous calming, walking tunes for a crying infant & smiles for the grown-up walker who appreciated its subtle humor. Soon we all learned melodies & lyrics that stayed long after the CD wore out from many plays. It's one of the first books helping that baby, now 6-year old, learn to read. Sandra Boynton & her friends are wonderful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peg0919 More than 1 year ago
Get ready to repeat this many times--and it help if you can sing (even if its off key). The lyrics are fun for kids and adults. Get ready for some serious silliness!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are a few books in this series but this is the BEST one. My kids loved it several years ago and still love it today. The songs are so fun! It's a great gift item and one of our family favorites!
lynard69 More than 1 year ago
This is a sing along book and CD. It is FAR FAR BETTER than Dog Train. My daughter and I sing to it constantly in the car. My favorite song is 15 Animals. But I am partial to Meryl Streeps Jazzy tune; she has an amazing voice. Every one is catchy and engaging. Even my Husband was found popping it in and singing along. One of the best I have ever had!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Our 18month old daughter loves Sandra Boynton books, she has since she was just a few days old. And this CD is loved and often played on our home. The Belly Button Song is her favorite and she shouts 'Belly Button' as a greeting to everybody! Just thinking about this CD bring a smile to our faces. If your kids love Sandra Boynton, they deserve this CD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is our favorite. The songs are so clever and fun that we enjoy listening and singing along which greatly increases our son's amusement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recieved this book as a gift. I love it. I'd have to say I love it more than my children. I find myself singing the songs as the apply to everyday life. EXAMPLE... when I get a cookie... 'oh chocolate chip cookie so high on the self....'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recieved this book as a shower gift. My son is now 10 months old and I know all the words because we listen to it so much. He loves to clap and bounce to the music. I can't wait to purchase all of the others from this author!
Guest More than 1 year ago
We found this book at a little shop while on vacation. We have been playing and reading it since my son was an infant. Now almost 4 years old he still brings the book to us to read. The music is so fun. It has a something for parents to enjoy just as much. Even a friend of ours wanted a copy and she didn't have any children. Our favorite songs: Belly Button, 15 animals, cows. One of my sons first words was 'remarkable' cows because of the song!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is perfect for the car. Enjoyable for the adults and children. My 4 year old thinks 'truly Terrible Mood' is about her and my 17 month old sings 'Suggle Puppy' outloud. The book is a great way to get old kids involved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We found this book/cd at the library and were so excited. We'd already purchased Rhinoceros Tap and LOVED it so were eager to hear the next installment from the talented Ms. Boynton. We were not disappointed! I loved the witty lyrics and jazz-inspired showtunes and my kids (4 and 6 yrs) quickly memorized the words to all their new favorites and continue to sing them even after we returned the book (sadly) to the library. We will have to purchase our own copy soon. My only, very slight, criticism of this book is that there were a few too many slower ballad-type tunes which lost the kids' attention for a bit. (However my husband and I enjoyed those too) Their favorites? The Aardvarks Intermission Song was the hands-down winner followed closely by the Busy, Busy song which is a fun tongue-twister to try and sing along with.