The First Misadventure (The Chicken Squad #1)

by Doreen Cronin (Author) Kevin Cornell (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Chicken Squad
They're darling. They're daring. They know their shapes! They're chicks on a mission--and on this, their first (mis)adventure, the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition.

Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they're too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime.

So when Squirrel comes barreling into the chicken coop, the chicks know they're about to get a case. But with his poor knowledge of shapes ("Big" is not a shape, Squirrel!) and utter fear of whatever it is that's out there, the panicky Squirrel is NO HELP. Good thing these chicks are professionals.

But even professionals get worried. Especially once they see that round, shiny, green, BIG thing in the yard. What if it's a UFO full of aliens who want chickens as pets? It's up to the Chicken Squad to crack a case that just might be out of this world.
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School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--Those cheeky chicks are back--this time in a series all their own. Fresh on the heels of their adventures in The Trouble with Chickens (2011) and The Legend of Diamond Lil (2012, both HarperCollins), Dirt, Sugar, Sweetie, and Poppy must now contend with a cowardly squirrel named Tail and a "big and scary" something that has landed in the backyard. Using deductive reasoning and some strangely creative camouflage, the chickens hatch a plan to investigate the mysterious object. The curmudgeonly ex-police dog, J.J. Tully, lends his deadpan observations to the humorous text, while Cornell's black-and-white illustrations bring Cronin's oddball characters to life with a goofy charm. Kids who enjoyed the first two books in the "J.J. Tully Mysteries" series will be delighted that the four intrepid chicks take center stage in this laugh-out-loud new chapter book series.--Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

This loopy mystery kicks off the Chicken Squad series, a spinoff of Cronin and Cornell's J.J. Tully Mysteries that is skewed to even younger readers. Retired search-and-rescue dog turned detective J.J. takes a minor role in this outing, leaving the spotlight to Moosh's four chicks. Though it's J.J.'s job to bail out the trouble-prone chickens, he enlists readers to take over while he naps: "Wake me if they get into any trouble. Well, big trouble. I'm sure you can handle a little trouble on your own." Trouble arrives in the guise of Tail, a terrified squirrel who storms the chicken coop insisting that "something big and scary" is after him. Led by Sugar, who records clues in her notebook, and Dirt, who uses her sketchpad to decipher the shape of the interloper, the chick siblings (camouflaged as clods of grass) and Tail set out to confront what they assume is a UFO. As Cronin and Cornell layer on the silliness, full-tilt slapstick springs from the chicks' banter and Tail's melodramatic ranting. Ages 7-10. Author's agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Apr.)

Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Doreen Cronin
Doreen Cronin is the author of many bestselling and New York Times bestselling picture books, including Click, Clack, Quack to School!; Click, Clack, Surprise!; Click, Clack, Ho, Ho, Ho; Click, Clack, Peep; Click, Clack, Boo!; Dooby Dooby Moo; Thump, Quack, Moo: A Whacky Adventure; Bounce; Wiggle; Duck for President; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; Bloom; and the Caldecott Honor Book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type as well as The Chicken Squad series and Cyclone. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at DoreenCronin.com.

Betsy Lewin is the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type and its sequels, including Click, Clack, Quack to School!; Click, Clack, Ho, Ho, Ho; Click, Clack, Peep; Click, Clack, Boo!; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; Duck for President; Dooby Dooby Moo; and Thump, Quack, Moo; in addition to a number of other picture books, including So, What's It Like to Be a Cat? and Where Is Tippy Toes?. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781442496774
Lexile Measure
560
Guided Reading Level
N
Publisher
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 29, 2015
Series
Chicken Squad
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002090 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Farm Animals
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
JUV045000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Chapter Books
JUV002230 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Squirrels
Library of Congress categories
Humorous stories
Dogs
Chickens
Mystery and detective stories
Detective and mystery stories
Detective and mystery fiction
Squirrels
Cybils
Finalist 2014 - 2014
Flicker Tale Children's Book Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016
Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award
Honor Book 2015 - 2015

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