Elem. – Mr. Watson’s Chickens

Dapier, Jarrett, and Andrea Tsurumi, illustrator. Mr. Watson’s Chickens. Chronicle Books, 2021. 9781452177144. Unpaged. $17.99. Grades K-2.

Mr. Watson and Mr. Nelson live in a big house with a small yard that’s home to two dogs, three cats, and a handful of chickens. Mr. Watson loves his chickens, but when their numbers grow to 456 even he must admit that things are getting out of hand. One, Aunt Agnes, even has her own song and warbles it nonstop! The pair packs up and heads for the county fair to find loving homes for their chicks, but not before further hijinks ensue. One action-packed illustration offers a fun Where’s Waldo vibe as readers hunt for Aunt Agnes on the fair’s bandstand. 

THOUGHTS: This wonderfully inclusive picture book will delight young readers with the chickens’ escapades and bright colors! Mr. Watson’s Chickens also could serve as a gentle introduction to a life cycle or animal care unit.

Picture Book          Amy V. Pickett, Ridley SD

Elem. – The Chicken House

In this early reader adventure, The Chicken Squad is back for another adventure. Sugar, Dirt, Sweetie, and Poppy live in the triangle chicken house with their mother. Dirt likes to read by the window, Sweetie likes to draw on the walls, Poppy likes to rest in a big shoe, and mother Moosh likes when everyone is home. Home is a bit crowded though. J.J. lives in a doghouse that has a bathtub; a big, soft bed; and a table for massages. Sugar invites her siblings to the more spacious dog house, and each enjoys having a little elbow room. But Moosh misses her chicks, and J.J. notices his dog house isn’t like it used to be. Will everyone find a way to be comfortable and feel at home? This text has longer sentences with simple chapters and high-interest vocabulary words. 

THOUGHTS: A fun twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this chicken adventure will garner laughs of emerging readers.

Early Reader          Maryalice Bond, South Middleton SD

Elem. – Chickenology: The Ultimate Encyclopedia

Sandri, Barbara, and Francesco Giubbilini. Chickenology: The Ultimate Encyclopedia. Princeton Architectural Press, 2021. 978-1-616-89908-0. 71 p. $19.95. Grades 3-6. 

What’s that clucking noise you hear? It’s a chicken, of course! Students will learn all about these amazing barnyard creatures in Chickenology: The Ultimate Encyclopedia. Topics presented include the different varieties of chickens, chicken characteristics, habitat, chicken care and health, reproduction, chickens throughout history, and much more. Also discussed are chickens in literature and chickens as pets. In addition, readers will learn about chicken eggs, including parts of the egg, types of eggs, and how eggs are eaten around the world. The text is accompanied by Camilla Pintonato’s numerous detailed illustrations, which are sure to keep readers engaged in the world of chickens.

THOUGHTS: This is an excellent resource for all things chicken! Written in a conversational style, Chickenology will be of use to student researchers as well as the casual browser, who will no doubt enjoy all the unique chicken factoids shared through the book. (Did you know studies have shown chicks can count up to four?) Highly recommended.

636.5 Farm Animals          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD