The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure

The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure

5.0 2
by Doreen Cronin, Kevin Cornell
     
 

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They might be chicks, but they sure aren’t chicken, and they’re on a mission. And on this, their first (mis)adventure “in this delightful spinoff of the J.J. Tully series” (Kirkus Reviews), the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition.

Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are

Overview

They might be chicks, but they sure aren’t chicken, and they’re on a mission. And on this, their first (mis)adventure “in this delightful spinoff of the J.J. Tully series” (Kirkus Reviews), 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, or worse, dinner? It’s up to the Chicken Squad to crack a case that just might be out of this world.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
04/01/2014
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
The New York Times Book Review - Betsy Bird
Cornell's illustrations give life to the chicks and their individual personalities…Like four small, fuzzy, yellow Don Quixotes, they see giants in windmills or, in this case, aliens in backyard grills.
Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
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.)
New York Times
"Cornell’s illustrations give life to the chicks and their individual personalities. Each one pursues his or her own agenda, though they are often united in a common cause. Like four small, fuzzy, yellow Don Quixotes, they see giants in windmills or, in this case, aliens in backyard grills."
From the Publisher
"Cornell’s illustrations give life to the chicks and their individual personalities. Each one pursues his or her own agenda, though they are often united in a common cause. Like four small, fuzzy, yellow Don Quixotes, they see giants in windmills or, in this case, aliens in backyard grills." - New York Times
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-26
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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442496781
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Series:
Chicken Squad Series , #1
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
171,244
Lexile:
470L (what's this?)
File size:
37 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Chicken Squad

Chapter 1


Help!! Help!”

A squirrel came barreling into the chicken coop. He was out of breath and in a panic. “There is something big and scary in the yard!” gasped the squirrel. “It’s after me!”

“Describe it for me,” said Sugar. She pulled her notepad out of the old shoe.

“It’s big and scary!!” said the squirrel. “It’s BIG and it’s SCARY!!”

“Big and scary is not going to cut it,” said Sugar. “Lots of things are big and scary, kid. My mom is big and scary. Try again.”

“It’s ENORMOUS and FRIGHTENING,” said Squirrel.

Sugar put her pencil down. “Better. Keep going.”

“It’s HUGE and TERRIFYING!” cried the squirrel.

“Much better, Tail,” said Sugar. She checked her notes.

Big and Scary!

Enormous and Frightening!

Huge and Terrifying!

“Maybe I can help,” said Dirt. She took out her sketchpad. “What shape was it?” asked Dirt.

“It was . . . big,” answered the squirrel.

“Big is not a shape,” sighed Sugar. She put her notebook down. “You’ve got a good vocabulary, kid. But your poor shape knowledge means I can’t respect you. You should go now.”

“Hold on, Sugar,” said Dirt. “Let’s figure this out. Let’s start from the beginning.”

“It’s ENORMOUS!” snapped the squirrel. He was starting to get grumpy.

“I thought you said it was big,” said Sugar.

“Maybe I can give it a try,” said Dirt. “Is it bigger than a house?”

“Well, no,” said the squirrel.

“Is it bigger than the chicken coop?” asked Dirt.

“Well, no,” answered the squirrel.

“Is it bigger than you?” asked Dirt.

“I am a brave squirrel!! Of course it’s bigger than me!” said the squirrel. “Why would I be afraid of something if it wasn’t bigger than me?”

“Lots of people are afraid of things that are smaller than they are,” said Dirt.

“Well, not me,” said the squirrel. “I’m only afraid of one thing and it’s BIG and SCARY, and it came out of nowhere, and it’s out there waiting for me!”

“I think we need J. J. on this case,” said Sugar. “He knows the yard like the back of his paw. I’m going to run over there and ask him to join us.”

“Not the dog!” yelled the squirrel. “Not the DOG! NOT THE DOG!”

“What’s your beef with the dog, Tail?” asked Sugar.

“He’s big and scary!” answered the squirrel.

Sugar had a hunch.

“Fine, I’m just going to run outside and grab a shovel,” she announced. “I’ll be right back.”

“Not the shovel!” said Tail. “Not the SHOVEL! NOT THE SHOVEL!”

“What’s your beef with the shovel?” asked Sugar.

“It’s big and scary!” said the squirrel.

“I give up, Tail,” said Sugar. “Sounds to me like you’re afraid of everything in the yard. Now get out of here and call me when you have a real problem.” Sugar made a last note on her pad.

Big and Scary!

Enormous and Frightening!

Huge and Terrifying!

Never mind!

Just then a dark figure appeared in the doorway and cast a shadow over Dirt, Sugar, and Tail.

“Everything okay in here?” asked a deep, gruff voice. Tail’s eyes went wide, his face went pale, and he hit the floor.

Meet the Author

Doreen Cronin is the author of The Chicken Squad series and many bestselling picture books, including Click, Clack, Ho, Ho, Ho; Click, Clack, Peep; Click, Clack, Boo!; Dooby Dooby Moo; Thump, Quack, Moo; 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!

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The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
skovach More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have another book. I loved it!!!! I think this is great to.