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The Trouble With Chickens

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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. beg 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?


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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. beg 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?

30 review for The Trouble With Chickens

  1. 5 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    The Trouble With Chickens (J.J. Tully Mystery #1) by Doreen Cronin is such a cute story that even I enjoyed it. It is about a retired search-and-rescue dog that lives on a farm now, chickens that have him on a mission to find lost chicks, and a sneaky inside dog. It is clever, funny, and very witty. I couldn't help but smile several times throughout the book. Well written, fun book for kids. This should be a movie for kids! It would be adorable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Milton

    I got this book from the library because I thought it might appeal to some of the Primaries, newly hatched readers who are now studying things that hatch. It seemed a perfect match, but this title, "The Trouble With Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery," like some of Cronin's other work, suffers from confusion of audience. In tone and language, this book wants to parody Raymond Chandler's "private dick on a case." However, I suspect that few children of Primary age are familiar with "The Long Goodbye, I got this book from the library because I thought it might appeal to some of the Primaries, newly hatched readers who are now studying things that hatch. It seemed a perfect match, but this title, "The Trouble With Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery," like some of Cronin's other work, suffers from confusion of audience. In tone and language, this book wants to parody Raymond Chandler's "private dick on a case." However, I suspect that few children of Primary age are familiar with "The Long Goodbye," or other livres noirs. Consequently, unless this work is read aloud to children by a reader willing to commit to her best Humphrey Bogart impersonation, I suspect it will be lost on its intended audience. In the 2nd chapter, after J.J. Tully, a retired rescue dog, meets Millicent "Moosh," a chicken who enlists his services, he meets her chicks. "She called them Little Boo and Peep. I called them Dirt and Sugar, for no particular reason." Much is left to "no particular reason," as the writer torments an already convoluted plot in service of Chandlerisms bound to be lost on her readership. I no longer have a k-2nd grader in the house to serve as guinea pig for this kind of story, but plan to test this title with some Primaries tomorrow and see if they both like and "get" this title. If they don't, it won't be a mystery to me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    Never judge a book or a little fluff of a chicken by its looks . . . especially in this humorous romp in search of some missing chicks. The outcome will turn retired search and rescue dog, J.J. Tully's world upside down. He has his paws full with these cheeping, clucking cohorts. Definitely a great read for reluctant readers and early chapter book lovers. - Jennifer K.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mid-Continent Public Library

    The genius of Doreen Cronin is her ability to write a book for kids with a layer of humor that also appeals to adults. In this case, J.J. Tully operates like a detective in a Raymond Chandler novel (G-rated, of course). I listened to this on audio and there were many times I had to laugh out loud over puns and observations that Tully makes. Would make a fabulous selection for a family road trip. Hank the Cowdog lovers will love J.J. Tully, too. Highly recommended. *Reviewed by Darla from Red Bri The genius of Doreen Cronin is her ability to write a book for kids with a layer of humor that also appeals to adults. In this case, J.J. Tully operates like a detective in a Raymond Chandler novel (G-rated, of course). I listened to this on audio and there were many times I had to laugh out loud over puns and observations that Tully makes. Would make a fabulous selection for a family road trip. Hank the Cowdog lovers will love J.J. Tully, too. Highly recommended. *Reviewed by Darla from Red Bridge* img src="https://scontent-msp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mark Flowers

    Just as Click Clack Moo (as brilliant as I find that book) raised questions about how many young readers would be familiar with typewriters, so this novel raises the question with regard to detective fiction (a question it shares with the Chet Gecko series). I don't necessarily have a problem with parodying adult genres in children's lit, but it seems like you'd want to pick a genre kids are likely to be familiar with through TV or movies. Nevertheless, I don't have that problem - I've read Raym Just as Click Clack Moo (as brilliant as I find that book) raised questions about how many young readers would be familiar with typewriters, so this novel raises the question with regard to detective fiction (a question it shares with the Chet Gecko series). I don't necessarily have a problem with parodying adult genres in children's lit, but it seems like you'd want to pick a genre kids are likely to be familiar with through TV or movies. Nevertheless, I don't have that problem - I've read Raymond Chandler - and I thought this book was hilarious. It's probably quite funny to kids who don't know a thing about detectives as well, and it certainly has more than enough adventure, and a great twist, so in the end it probably doesn't much matter.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is a fun mystery for kids. The narrative is entertaining and has a bit of a hardboiled edge to it, with some acerbic wit and wry commentary. The story is told from two perspectives, the detective (J.J. Tully) and his foe (Vince the funnel). The first time we noticed the change in perspective, we were a bit confused, but then we realized that the icon at the top of the page at the beginning of each chapter marked the switch in narrator and we were better prepared for the shift as we continue This is a fun mystery for kids. The narrative is entertaining and has a bit of a hardboiled edge to it, with some acerbic wit and wry commentary. The story is told from two perspectives, the detective (J.J. Tully) and his foe (Vince the funnel). The first time we noticed the change in perspective, we were a bit confused, but then we realized that the icon at the top of the page at the beginning of each chapter marked the switch in narrator and we were better prepared for the shift as we continued to read. It was a quick read and we enjoyed reading it together. interesting quote: "She reminded me of a splinter I'd had once - it bothered me, and I was in a much better mood when it was gone." (pp. 20-21)

  7. 5 out of 5

    April

    The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin is an adorable children’s chapter book. J.J. Tully had a fantastic career as a search and rescue dog, and from the start of the story, he is currently enjoying retirement. As this is a story, we know things don’t stay quite so peaceful for J.J. One day two chicks, Dirt and Sugar, and the mother hen, Hazel, come to J.J. asking for help in tracking down the missing siblings with the promise of a cheeseburger for a reward. Read the rest of my review by clic The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin is an adorable children’s chapter book. J.J. Tully had a fantastic career as a search and rescue dog, and from the start of the story, he is currently enjoying retirement. As this is a story, we know things don’t stay quite so peaceful for J.J. One day two chicks, Dirt and Sugar, and the mother hen, Hazel, come to J.J. asking for help in tracking down the missing siblings with the promise of a cheeseburger for a reward. Read the rest of my review by clicking here

  8. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    The genius of Doreen Cronin is her ability to write a book for kids with a layer of humor that also appeals to adults. In this case, J.J. Tully operates like a detective in a Raymond Chandler novel (G-rated, of course). I listened to this on audio and there were many times I had to laugh out loud over puns and observations that Tully makes. Would make a fabulous selection for a family road trip. Hank the Cowdog lovers will love J.J. Tully, too. Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I read this a long time ago but forgot to add it. It's good for kids around second grade who want a mystery and like animals. Fans of Butler's Buddy Files series will also like this.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken. Premise/plot: J.J. Tully is a former search-and-rescue dog who is kept busy by his owner's "crazy" chickens. In this one, readers meet Moosh (Millicent) and her four chicks (Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie). Two of her chicks have gone MISSING. Can J.J. find them? Are they in danger? My thoughts: I met J.J. Tully and the chicks not through this one but through a later book series, the Chicken Squad series. That series is narr First sentence: It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken. Premise/plot: J.J. Tully is a former search-and-rescue dog who is kept busy by his owner's "crazy" chickens. In this one, readers meet Moosh (Millicent) and her four chicks (Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie). Two of her chicks have gone MISSING. Can J.J. find them? Are they in danger? My thoughts: I met J.J. Tully and the chicks not through this one but through a later book series, the Chicken Squad series. That series is narrated mainly by the four chicks. I am enjoying the characters. But I like the Chicken Squad series better. In this one, the characters are still a bit floundering about finding their voices. It was a nice read but not a wonderful one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    This was a short and fun read with all the elements of a typical mystery novel. The story is told from JJ's hard-boiled point of view, and involves a cast of characters made up of dogs and chickens. There's a lot of humor here, and I recommend this for all ages. There are many illustrations, and the story takes place over 4th of July weekend, so this could be a fun, shared read to while away a hot summer afternoon. The spoilers below are character notes for our OBOB team. (view spoiler)[ Jonathan This was a short and fun read with all the elements of a typical mystery novel. The story is told from JJ's hard-boiled point of view, and involves a cast of characters made up of dogs and chickens. There's a lot of humor here, and I recommend this for all ages. There are many illustrations, and the story takes place over 4th of July weekend, so this could be a fun, shared read to while away a hot summer afternoon. The spoilers below are character notes for our OBOB team. (view spoiler)[ Jonathan Joseph Tully (JJ) - Spent 7 years as a search and rescue dog and is now retired to live in the country with Barb, his trainer. JJ is commissioned by Moosh to locate her missing chick. JJ rejects payment of chicken feed and feathers in favor of a cheeseburger. When JJ notices the gap between Dirt and Sugar when they line up to follow Moosh, Sugar explains that Poppy and Sweetie are missing. JJ tries to pick up their scent with no luck. It isn't until he's presented with a kidnap note that he can identify the scent of the house. The note uses big words such as "rendezvous" and "behooves". This leads JJ to believe it must be written by someone who spends their time indoors. (JJ reminisces about a roast beef sandwich he had a bad feeling about in Detroit but ate anyway. The bad feeling turned out to be true as he woke up in a hospital with food poisoning.) It looks like Vince the Funnel, the inside dog, is the mastermind behind the kidnapping. All signs point to this at first, but Vince's sole desire is to imprison JJ so he goes to the Vet and gets ear tubes in Vince's place. This will shed Vince of JJ and teach him a lesson. It comes out that Sugar was actually the mastermind, as she hatched the kidnap plan in order to maintain access to the library in the house. She did it all for the books. JJ is trapped in Vince's cage, and the chicks hatch a plan to help him out, obtain the doggy door controller from Vince's collar, and also trap Vince in the cage so they can all leave the house safely. In the end it also comes out that Moosh knew that Sugar wrote the kidnap note, but she was desperate and would do anything to get her chicks back. As the chickens begin to walk away, they leave a spot for JJ, and they all end up on the couch watching TV. Millicent (Moosh) - mother hen to the chickens, she enlists JJ to help her get her family back. Little Boo (Dirt) - One of the chicks not kidnapped or missing. Peep (Sugar) - Another chick that is not initially missing. She appears to wear glasses. Sugar is quite intelligent and is actually the author of the ransom note. Poppy - one of the missing chicks. Sweetie - the other missing chick. These chicks are not assigned nicknames because JJ says that nicknames are only cute when your mother knows where you are. Vince the Funnel - Barb's indoor dog that is one of the masterminds behind the plan to trap JJ in his cage so that JJ is the one that makes the trip to the Vet for ear tubes. Vince sees himself as an alpha dog that doesn't like company. He's willing to send JJ to the vet and do away with the chickens to frame JJ. Vince's dog collar has an electronic control for the doggy door, which JJ and the chicks must obtain in order to leave the house. Run Hide Breathe Watch Run RHBWR - an acronym of note that is the basis of JJ's training for Dirt, which ends up being carried out by Moosh as she sneaks in the house first. Epilogue: - Vince gets his ear tubes and they can sometimes hear him crashing around the house as he wears an even bigger funnel. - Sugar teaches the family to read. - Somtetimes the chicks gather around JJ to hear him tell tales of his past rescues. Sugar asks why his rescue days are over, which JJ alludes is another story. Perhaps the next in the series? (hide spoiler)]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie Fitzgerald

    The Trouble with Chickens is a chapter book by Doreen Cronin, who is the author of a bunch of hilarious picture books, including Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. In this, her first longer book for kids, she introduces us to J.J. Tully, a retired search-and-rescue dog, who despite his suspicion of chickens, is roped into helping Millicent, whom he calls Moosh, find her lost baby chicks. The story is told in the first person, mainly from J.J.'s point of view, and includes lots of humor, interest The Trouble with Chickens is a chapter book by Doreen Cronin, who is the author of a bunch of hilarious picture books, including Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. In this, her first longer book for kids, she introduces us to J.J. Tully, a retired search-and-rescue dog, who despite his suspicion of chickens, is roped into helping Millicent, whom he calls Moosh, find her lost baby chicks. The story is told in the first person, mainly from J.J.'s point of view, and includes lots of humor, interesting vocabulary, and several surprise plot twists. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. Not only was it laugh out loud funny, with clever turns of phrase and well-timed punchlines, it was also just really well-written. The first sentence alone is fantastic: "It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken." But that is just the beginning of the wonderful ways Cronin plays with language throughout the text. J.J.'s voice is absolutely perfect for his character. His deadpan tone and wry sense of humor really create the atmosphere of the story and wonderfully develop his character as a dog with a dangerous past, who has seen it all. Cronin also creates these great rules and concepts that define how animals behave and interact with one another. J.J. notes the differences between indoor and outdoor words, for example. He also calculates time according to species. An hour in dog time is seven hours in people time, "[w]hich translates into forty-three hours in chicken time." There is a human in the story - Barb is the owner of J.J., the chickens, and Vince, the rival dog who lives in the house - but the drama of the book belongs solely to the animals and especially to the duplicity of the chickens. I think it's really difficult to write a story for early readers that is both easy enough to read and interesting enough to attract readers. Cronin has managed not only to entertain me with this story, but also to produce a really sophisticated book that shifts between points of view, tricks the reader with red herrings, and comes together in a clever surprise ending. I do think some of those sophisticated aspects make it a book for kids on the older end of the early chapter book audience - eight and nine year olds, most likely - but it's a definite standout of the genre for this year, and one of my favorite 2011 reads.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    I received an Advance Reader's Copy of The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin through Librarything's Early Review program. I was not compensated for my review. I was both excited and wary about reading this book. I love Doreen Cronin's picture books: Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and Diary of a Worm are two of my favorites. Yet, I wasn't sure how her creative picture book style would translate to chapter book format. She handles the transition beautifully. This is a book that will have appea I received an Advance Reader's Copy of The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin through Librarything's Early Review program. I was not compensated for my review. I was both excited and wary about reading this book. I love Doreen Cronin's picture books: Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and Diary of a Worm are two of my favorites. Yet, I wasn't sure how her creative picture book style would translate to chapter book format. She handles the transition beautifully. This is a book that will have appeal to a number of audiences. Children will find the story silly (especially if read aloud with great expression) and while some of the humor will slip past the kids, the adults will chuckle at the innuendo - making this a great family read. At times, while reading this book I was reminded of Hank the Cow Dog by John Erickson, though I must admit I like J. J. far more than I do Hank. Students getting reading to make the move from reading picture books to chapter books will recognize Cronin's name and will be eager to give this story a try. While School Library Journal levels this a 2nd Grade - 4th Grade read, I would recommend it as a read alone for 4th grade and up (they are more likely to get more of the humor) and a read aloud for students in 1st Grade and up. The Trouble With Chickens is a great addition to any school, classroom or home library. Mrs. Archer's rating: 4.5 of 5!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah W

    Doreen Cronin, author of Diary of a Spider, breaks into chapter books with the fast-paced, funny The Trouble with Chickens. J. J. Tully is a retired search-and-rescue dog now living out in the country with his trainer who finds retirement less than restful when a chicken named Millicent drags him into a case. Two of her chicks are missing, and Millicent is insistent J.J. find them even if the mother chicken doesn't have a clue what a dog charges for work (A hint is that chicken feed won't buy a Doreen Cronin, author of Diary of a Spider, breaks into chapter books with the fast-paced, funny The Trouble with Chickens. J. J. Tully is a retired search-and-rescue dog now living out in the country with his trainer who finds retirement less than restful when a chicken named Millicent drags him into a case. Two of her chicks are missing, and Millicent is insistent J.J. find them even if the mother chicken doesn't have a clue what a dog charges for work (A hint is that chicken feed won't buy a canine). J.J.'s point of view hints at gritty noir. He gives the chickens nicknames that are less than stellar (Moosh, Sugar and Dirt) while tracking down scents. Rain fouls up the investigation for a time until a note from the kidnapper arrives. This is a fun, light-hearted problem solving where some problem solving turns the villain's game backwards. Kevin Cornell's illustrations are a great complement to the story. A few parts of the book are told by house dog Vince the Funnel, which shows the case is more complicated than J.J. imagines. Of the chickens, Sugar has the most personality. She's willing to rush into things, is smart, and has a few secrets up her wing. Millicent aka Moosh also has a fairly strong personality. For me, it is Sugar and J.J. who really make this story click. I'm curious to see what will happen in the next J. J. book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kellylou

    J.J. is a retired search-and-rescue dog that now spends his days lazing about on the farm with his trainer, Barb.  This is far from his idea of a perfect life, and he finds himself frustrated and bored more often than not. Enter Moosh, a mama chicken with a mystery to solve, and her two feisty chicks -- all birds that won't take no for an answer.  What follows is a fast-paced whodunnit style mystery complete with an intriguingly named villain (Vince the Funnel) bent on causing problems for everyo J.J. is a retired search-and-rescue dog that now spends his days lazing about on the farm with his trainer, Barb.  This is far from his idea of a perfect life, and he finds himself frustrated and bored more often than not. Enter Moosh, a mama chicken with a mystery to solve, and her two feisty chicks -- all birds that won't take no for an answer.  What follows is a fast-paced whodunnit style mystery complete with an intriguingly named villain (Vince the Funnel) bent on causing problems for everyone.  But don't be lured into the simplicity of the storytelling -- as in all good mysteries, you can't take everything you see at face value. Cronin has masterfully spun a tale that succeeds in the slight of hand magic necessary to create a memorable detective story. This delightful early chapter book is packed with action, offers some interesting vocabulary for young children, and is told in a wonderfully unique voice. J.J.’s gruff, no-nonsense personality gives the story just the right touch of old school detective agency flair that it needs.  Short and engaging enough to entice even your most disinterested readers and an excellent choice in the classroom to teach voice, sentence structure, and dialogue.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Jonathan Joseph Tully, a retired Search and Rescue dog, is hired by worried mother Millicent to find her two missing chicks, Poppy and Sweetie – but this SAR mission is not as simple as it seems. The Trouble with Chickens is the kind of book that will make you stop and read aloud hilarious sentences to anyone nearby. Cronin has taken a very simple missing-child mystery and turned it into something much denser. Younger readers may not fully appreciate all the humor of J.J.’s detective style, but Jonathan Joseph Tully, a retired Search and Rescue dog, is hired by worried mother Millicent to find her two missing chicks, Poppy and Sweetie – but this SAR mission is not as simple as it seems. The Trouble with Chickens is the kind of book that will make you stop and read aloud hilarious sentences to anyone nearby. Cronin has taken a very simple missing-child mystery and turned it into something much denser. Younger readers may not fully appreciate all the humor of J.J.’s detective style, but will certainly find themselves immersed in the mystery from the first page. My only issue with the book was the change in narrator, indicated only by the shape beneath the chapter number – this will be easy for young readers to miss, and they may become confused.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cheiree Domet

    I chose this book because Paige stated that she liked animals and mysteries. "The Trouble With Chickens" has both. It is a cute story that keeps you guessing "whodunit" until the end. There are animals that can relate to any friends you may have, a mother hen (literally), an evil doer and our hero. Just reading the back of the book is book hook enough. "It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken..." but I'd tell Paige that the mystery moves along so quickly you won't want to put the b I chose this book because Paige stated that she liked animals and mysteries. "The Trouble With Chickens" has both. It is a cute story that keeps you guessing "whodunit" until the end. There are animals that can relate to any friends you may have, a mother hen (literally), an evil doer and our hero. Just reading the back of the book is book hook enough. "It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken..." but I'd tell Paige that the mystery moves along so quickly you won't want to put the book down. You'll want to read it until the end to see who the culprit is. It is an easier read intermediate chapter book. I think she'd enjoy trying to figure out if her theory is correct about whodunit.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Move over Sam Spade! Make way for Jonathan Joseph Tully (J.J. for short), retired search-and-rescue dog. J.J.'s reputation as a problem-solver sends Moosh, a chicken with a big problem, his way. Try as he may, he can't get rid of the determined mother hen, so they come to an agreement. He won't work for children feed, but he will work for a cheeseburger. Moosh has a missing chick, and J.J. sets out to find it, running "afowl" of a scheming dachshund along the way. Young readers won't find a singl Move over Sam Spade! Make way for Jonathan Joseph Tully (J.J. for short), retired search-and-rescue dog. J.J.'s reputation as a problem-solver sends Moosh, a chicken with a big problem, his way. Try as he may, he can't get rid of the determined mother hen, so they come to an agreement. He won't work for children feed, but he will work for a cheeseburger. Moosh has a missing chick, and J.J. sets out to find it, running "afowl" of a scheming dachshund along the way. Young readers won't find a single bad egg in this hard-boiled mystery with just enough scrambled clues to keep them guessing, while the allusions to the mystery genre will delight older readers who are "in on the yolk."

  19. 4 out of 5

    paula

    "Illustrations large and small are generously sprinkled throughout and serve to emphasize the humorous content. Kevin Cornell does a great job painting J.J. every shade of cranky, from mildly irritated to full-on furious, and the chickens and chicks are likewise expressive. I think it's the villain of this book, the demented Vince the Funnel (what a great name!) that I like the best, though. Glowering from the depths of his veterinary lampshade, Vince is thrillingly evil and ludicrous at the sam "Illustrations large and small are generously sprinkled throughout and serve to emphasize the humorous content. Kevin Cornell does a great job painting J.J. every shade of cranky, from mildly irritated to full-on furious, and the chickens and chicks are likewise expressive. I think it's the villain of this book, the demented Vince the Funnel (what a great name!) that I like the best, though. Glowering from the depths of his veterinary lampshade, Vince is thrillingly evil and ludicrous at the same time." Full review on Pink Me

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    As a read-alone, I'd give this 3 stars, because though the storyline is enjoyable, it's not strong, and my 8 year old was bored of it after the first few chapters on her own. However, as a read-aloud, the "voice" is so fun and packed with a cowboy-poetry-Hank-The-Cowdog-I'll-leave-the-light-on kind of presence, that vocalized, my girls were giggling and begging for more, which encouraged me to read later than bedtime and finish up in the morning during breakfast.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a funny story. I bought it to read aloud to my 7 year old son but after I read the first chapter he liked it so much he wanted to go ahead and read some more on his own instead of waiting for me. He ended up finishing it in a couple of days. I read it too because I thought it was cute and I wanted to be able to talk to him about it. The chapters are short and the story moves at a pace that keeps you interested. My son is excited to read the sequel.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    A hard-boiled detective novel for young middle-grade readers--funny, if a bit of a one-trick pony. I'm pretty sure I would have liked this a lot when I was a kid (if I had deigned to read it, which I wouldn't have--animals, you know). Curious to get some kid perspectives on it. I saw this mentioned in early Newbery discussion; sure, why not?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Badlydone

    My son is planning to do the Battle of the Books this year and I am reading the books on the list with him. This was our first read and I quite enjoyed it. It is a very easy-to-read book, but the plot did have some complexity and twists. The book also has different POVs without explicitly stating so, exposing kids to this technique and also making them think. Fun and easy read!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Zarahi

    This was so much fun. It is a super quick read for adults, but it is quite surprising. I didn't expect the plot would end up the way it did! I think it's a great read-aloud for 2nd, 3rd, graderss. i really liked J.J. Tully, the retired search dog and hero of the story! I want to read more about his adventures in his new home.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    A canine Philip Marlowe for the early grade set. Wonderfully written and quite humorous barnyard adventure featuring the aforementioned hero and a curious family of chickens. Fans of Cronin's picture books and fans of mysteries should be on the look out for this short early chapter book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    SarahC

    Cronin's made a nice transition from the easier Farmer Brown reads. She has definitely kept the brains, the wit, and the wry, dusty (well they are dogs and chickens) view of life -- so glad. Another great recommendation from a sharp reader friend of mine, so I will recommend it in turn.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Seigel

    This book is absolutely hysterical! Doreen Cronin has terrific wit, and it had me and my co-workers howling with laughter and reading passages aloud to one another. My only criticism is that I'm not sure that the 7-9 year-old age group will totally get it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This is a reread. Originally I read it with my 4th graders 2 years ago; they weren't a fan of it, but I read it to my 1st graders this year and they LOVED it. Not as much as Chicken Squad, but still enjoyed it. I must be teaching a bunch of future detectives. ;)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Colby Sharp

    I love chickens, and I love good chapter books.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mac

    This book is about a rescued dog trying to help a ma chicken find her missing chicks. This is a funny book,that looks long, but is a very fast read. I recommend this book for all ages.

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