Chickenology: The Ultimate Encyclopedia

Princeton Architectural. Feb. 2021. 80p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781616899080.
Gr 4-6–This picture book aims to cover almost every aspect of chickens in the world, with whimsical illustrations that decorate and inform. Sandri and Giubbilini provide brief captions that are full of accessible information, which could spark further exploration. The text is well organized, with basic facts about physical features and development, chicken breeds and their features, raising chickens and maintaining their health, and mating rituals and reproduction. The text also describes their similarity to dinosaurs and compares their eggs to the eggs of other creatures, such as sharks. Abbreviated folklore stories and symbolism of chickens in history are included. A section on human interactions with chickens explains their popularity as pets and their therapeutic value. There is a lack of information on what to feed chickens, but there are pages on egg preparation, including how many minutes it takes to boil a soft- and a hard-boiled egg. The illustrations will attract younger readers, but the text is written with complex and compound sentences and vocabulary suited to the fourth- and fifth-grade reading level. As an introduction to chickens in a general sense, the readership will find it useful, but may desire more dense and complete information. Source material is not included.
VERDICT Looks compelling, but selectors from large libraries will want to assess the need for this title as a springboard for a more complete study.

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