The Trouble with Chickens

Doreen Cronin, Author, Kevin Cornell, Illustrator
Doreen Cronin, illus. by Kevin Cornell, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $14.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-06-121532-2
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Paperback - 119 pages - 978-0-06-121534-6
Book - 978-0-06-208390-6
Ebook - 144 pages - 978-0-06-206977-1
Book - 978-0-06-203296-6
Library Binding - 119 pages - 978-0-06-121533-9
Prebound-Glued - 119 pages - 978-0-606-31800-6
Prebound-Glued - 119 pages - 978-1-61383-650-7
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Cronin, best known for her witty barnyard picture books, Click, Clack, Moo and its successors, brings her droll humor to the chapter book set with great success. After seven years as a search-and-rescue dog, J.J. Tully (possibly a German shepherd) has been rewarded with retirement in the country. Though he puts on airs, recalling "a parade in my honor after I pulled three tornado victims out from under a mountain of debris," he grudgingly agrees to help a mother hen find her two missing chicks (in exchange for a cheeseburger). Behind his hard-boiled persona, J.J. has some genuine detective smarts, but he faces a formidable foe in Vince the Funnel, the "inside" dog, who looks "like a cross between a dachshund and a lamp" (he's wearing a cone-shaped collar due to an ear infection). Fast-paced and funny, with interesting vocabulary and a well-constructed plot, this is terrific fare for readers who are ready to move beyond picture books, but are intimidated by longer works. Cornell's pencil drawings have a mix of energy and humor that adds to the fun. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
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