The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure (Chicken Squad Series #1)by Doreen Cronin, Kevin Cornell (Illustrator)
Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend/i>
They’re darling. They’re daring. They know their shapes! They’re chicks on a mission—and on this, their first (mis)adventure, the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition.
Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they’re too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime.
So when Squirrel comes barreling into the chicken coop, the chicks know they’re about to get a case. But with his poor knowledge of shapes (“Big” is not a shape, Squirrel!) and utter fear of whatever it is that’s out there, the panicky Squirrel is NO HELP. Good thing these chicks are professionals.
But even professionals get worried. Especially once they see that round, shiny, green, BIG thing in the yard. What if it’s a UFO full of aliens who want chickens as pets? It’s up to the Chicken Squad to crack a case that just might be out of this world.
This loopy mystery kicks off the Chicken Squad series, a spinoff of Cronin and Cornell's J.J. Tully Mysteries that is skewed to even younger readers. Retired search-and-rescue dog turned detective J.J. takes a minor role in this outing, leaving the spotlight to Moosh's four chicks. Though it's J.J.'s job to bail out the trouble-prone chickens, he enlists readers to take over while he naps: "Wake me if they get into any trouble. Well, big trouble. I'm sure you can handle a little trouble on your own." Trouble arrives in the guise of Tail, a terrified squirrel who storms the chicken coop insisting that "something big and scary" is after him. Led by Sugar, who records clues in her notebook, and Dirt, who uses her sketchpad to decipher the shape of the interloper, the chick siblings (camouflaged as clods of grass) and Tail set out to confront what they assume is a UFO. As Cronin and Cornell layer on the silliness, full-tilt slapstick springs from the chicks' banter and Tail's melodramatic ranting. Ages 7–10. Author's agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Apr.)
In this delightful spinoff of the J.J. Tully series, this time the chickens are in charge—sort of. When "dumb squirrel" Tail is terrified by something big and scary in the yard, the Chicken Squad (Dirt, Sugar, Poppy and Sweetie) is on the case. Not only do they work to build Tail's pitiful vocabulary, these chickens will make readers laugh while doing it. Soon, Tail's description goes from "big and scary" to "huge and terrifying," and following a bonk to the head, he describes the thing in the yard as "a big, shiny circle…a dark shade of green…it made a weird hissing and popping noise…it interrupted the atmosphere." Cronin keeps the mystery moving right along, allowing it to build at just the right pace for new readers to guess along with the silly chickens. Of course, it takes J.J. Tully, the retired search-and-rescue hound, to figure it out and save the day. Just don't tell the Chicken Squad. Each page turn rewards readers with a humorous illustration that explains and extends the text—and helps children figure out some of the more difficult words from picture clues. Most of the more challenging words are repeated many times as the chickens recount the story for each other and Tail, making this a great first chapter book. (Comic mystery. 6-9)
Gr 1–3—Those cheeky chicks are back—this time in a series all their own. Fresh on the heels of their adventures in The Trouble with Chickens (2011) and The Legend of Diamond Lil (2012, both HarperCollins), Dirt, Sugar, Sweetie, and Poppy must now contend with a cowardly squirrel named Tail and a "big and scary" something that has landed in the backyard. Using deductive reasoning and some strangely creative camouflage, the chickens hatch a plan to investigate the mysterious object. The curmudgeonly ex-police dog, J.J. Tully, lends his deadpan observations to the humorous text, while Cornell's black-and-white illustrations bring Cronin's oddball characters to life with a goofy charm. Kids who enjoyed the first two books in the "J.J. Tully Mysteries" series will be delighted that the four intrepid chicks take center stage in this laugh-out-loud new chapter book series.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal
Meet the Author
Doreen Cronin is the author of The Chicken Squad series and many other New York Times bestselling picture books, including Click, Clack, Surprise!; Click, Clack, Ho, Ho, Ho; Click, Clack, Peep; Click, Clack, Boo!; Dooby Dooby Moo; Thump, Quack, Moo: A Whacky Adventure; Bounce; Wiggle; Duck for President; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; and the Caldecott Honor Book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at DoreenCronin.com.
Kevin Cornell’s secret spy headquarters are located in Philadelphia. He has successfully accomplished several thrilling missions, including illustrating Mustache! and Count The Monkeys by Mac Barnett, The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin, and Lulu’s Mysterious Mission by Judith Viorst. Leave a coded message for him at KevSkinRug.com!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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What a fun, creative book. This is a spin-off from Cronin's J.J. Tulley Mysteries. The chickens now have their own stories, although J.J. is still a integral part - retired, and their protector. Doreen Cronin is very well known for her silly animal stories - many of which I have in my classroom library. In The Chicken Squad, Cronin once again has managed to pack so much within a story. There is humor, a familiar dog, a "big and scary" mystery, very charismatic and personable chicks, and even a little geometry. This book is an excellent beginning chapter book. It is easy to follow. Readers are immediately introduced to the characters and quickly drawn into a humorous mystery. Children will be easily attracted to the ridiculous interactions and situations. the vocabulary is pretty simple, and there is enough repetition that will make it easy for a struggling reader to catch on. The pattern and structure of the text lend itself for a perfect read-aloud book. It would be a story that children would not want to put down, but continue to read or listen to. As a third grade teacher, I see this as a book I want to have in my classroom. I am always looking for good chapter books - especially ones that my lower readers will be able to pick up and read independently. This will be a book that my children will read and eagerly share with others. I see this book later becoming a children's animated cartoon. I think the writing, the characters, as well as the cute illustrations have already allowed me to create an animated cartoon in my mind.
This is a spin-off of the J. J. Tully series. The chicks now have their own series. The chicks get their first client, a squirrel. I loved how Sugar sees the clues differently than the others. J. J. has to come to the rescue but the chicks are fun as they solve their first mystery despite the clues. Don't let the facts stand in the way. This is a wonderful series for beginning readers.
I have another book. I loved it!!!! I think this is great to.