Monday, March 2, 2015

Funny Early Chapter Book

I love a really good early chapter book.  These books are able to engage newly emergent readers and get then excited about books.  This helps them on the road to becoming book lovers - a goal I have for all your kids.

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Title: The Chicken Squad

Author:Doreen Cronin

Target:Grades 1-3

Series: Yes

What this book is about: 
Dirt, Sugar, Poppy and Sweetie, four chickens living in the yard, get into trouble, lots of trouble.  Of course J. J. Tully the retired rescue dog, who also lives in the yard, gets them out of trouble … often.  In this first adventure the chicken squad is helping a squirrel who is absolutely TERRIFIED of an ENORMOUS object in the yard.  No job is too big or small for these chickens as they work to defeat this giant circular object which might be a UFO and it just might be after their mother … maybe?

Why I love this book: 
The deadpan humor is in full abundance in this series, to my utter delight.  Sometimes this type of humor can be lost on younger kids, but Cronin does a wonderful job of highlighting the obvious and ridiculous to the delight of even the youngest reader.  They will not fail to miss the absurd situations and reactions of this group of chickens.

Kevin Cornell, the illustrator, has been working with some of my favorite authors including Judith Viorst and Mac Barnett and there is a reason.  He perfectly captures the absurd and the sublime of these characters which simply adds to the fun of the text.

If I have one complaint it is simply that the text changes from third person to J. J. Tully which I think is a bit confusing in the middle of the story.  But it is a paltry complaint in the context of a laugh out loud, silly story.

Who this book is for: 
Good for kids who are starting chapter books.  Pictures are on almost every page with challenge words in context with pictures.

Final thoughts: 
Cronin’s first foray into early chapter books with the J. J. Tully Mysteries left me a little cold, but this new emphasis on the Chicken Squad works so well that the old series is now forgotten!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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