cover image Chicken Break! A Counting Book

Chicken Break! A Counting Book

Cate Berry, illus. by Charlotte Alder. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-30679-1

A clutch of 10 chickens escape their coop and enjoy a day on the town in this counting book. The concept begins by counting forward in verse, adding a chicken and an escape-plan element at a time: “One chicken, standing guard./ Two chickens scan the yard,” writes Berry. (In the book’s punniest moment, Alder renders the birds sitting upon a woolen-hatted sheep as “four chickens on the lamb.”) After a successful breakout and a day out—stealing pretzels, ice skating, and attending “Bantam of the Opera”—the chickens attempt to head home for a different kind of “chicken break”: a snooze. The story then counts backward from 10, getting more chaotic as different birds take multiple modes of transport home (“Five chickens launch jet packs”). Counting chickens is a well-trod plotline, but very young readers will likely enjoy the fowl free-for-all. Ages 3–5. [em](Oct.) [/em]