With more text than usual in her continuing series of intense looks at a particular animal species, Gibbons explores farmyard chickens. Diagrams, definitions of such words as flock, breed, rooster, and gizzard, and close-up views help viewers and readers understand more about raising chickens. Gibbons informs readers that a chicken can lay unfertilized eggs as well as fertilized, shows the development of chicks within the shell, and indicates how some chicks are raised under artificial conditions. A double-page spread shows different breeds, cutaways show the function of a gizzard, and the development of an egg within a hen. While the book is more complex than many preschoolers and kindergartners are used to, it suits perfectly those farm units where children's questions can be easily answered. Teachers of very young children may talk their way through more complicated parts of the four to six lines of type or the process diagrams. Add this one to the shelf, especially if raising chickens in your classroom or in the area, or if visiting a working farm is a usual activity. 2003, Holiday House,
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In this friendly introduction, Gibbons covers topics from egg and embryo formation to hatching and growth, and "chicken chatter" to chicken farms. She offers lots of solid information as well as bits of trivia that will be of interest to this audience. Cartoon illustrations are large, colorful, and plentiful, but the terrific pictures of fowl are much more successful than those of children. Labeled drawings provide information on the "Differences Between Chicks, Hens- and Roosters," and the development of an embryo. Some common rooster breeds are depicted, including the dapper Rhode Island Red and the silly-looking Polish variety. Difficult words are clearly explained with pronunciation tips. Jillian Powell's worthy From Chick to Chicken (Raintree, 2001) has wonderful large photographs but not quite as much detail. Gibbons's title takes up where Millicent E. Selsam's classic and still useful Egg to Chick (HarperTrophy, 1987) leaves off and should be popular in libraries and classrooms.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.