Monday, December 22, 2014

The Trouble With Chickens - Doreen Cronin

Summary:  J.J. Tully is a former search-and rescue dog who is trying to enjoy his retirement after years of performing daring missions saving lives. So he’s not terribly impressed when two chicks named Dirt and Sugar (who look like popcorn on legs) and their chicken mom show up demanding his help to track down their missing siblings. Driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J.J. begins to track down clues. Is Vince the Funnel hiding something? Are there dark forces at work—or is J.J. not smelling the evidence that’s right in front of him?
Bestselling author Doreen Cronin uses her deadpan humor to pitch-perfect effect in her first novel for young readers. Heavily illustrated with black-and-white artwork from Kevin Cornell, this new series is destined to become a classic.  (Summary and image from

My Review:  I read this with my oldest (8 year old) daughter this summer as we worked through Oregon Battle of the Books list for our summer reading. This was the perfect book for my new reader.  The words are just a big bigger on the page, with just enough white space, images sprinkled throughout and still had the formatting of a chapter book to make her feel confident and competent reading it.  I love this book for emerging independent readers!  The voice is so strong.  The story line is unique enough to keep you guessing what's going to happen next--anticipating the next move is not predictable--and that's super fun for young readers.  I also love that this is a character that has other stories--series are great for building strong, young readers. 

If you have a reluctant reader, regardless of gender, and one you know would love a who-dun-nit plot, please pick this up!  It was a great book to read together as well.

For the sensitive reader:  Super clean and super fun!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Sum it up: A super cute mystery for elementary grade children.

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