cover image Into the Wild

Into the Wild

Doreen Cronin, illus. by Stephen Gilpin. S&S/Atheneum/Dlouhy, $12.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5046-1

This third book in the Chicken Squad series finds the investigative team of Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie trying to solve a mystery involving a box made of wood and wire that has appeared in the yard. Dirt, whose mix of no- nonsense gruffness and utter incompetence offers big laughs throughout the story, is certain that it’s a “top-secret maximum-security box” and that “we are all in imminent danger.” Luckily, cooler (and more logical) heads prevail, and the truth turns out to be a lot fluffier. Gilpin’s black-and-white spot illustrations adeptly replicate the look Kevin Cornell established in the previous books as Cronin humorously explores the differences between facts and speculation, spying and observing, and rain and other things that sprinkle. Ages 7–10. Author’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (May)