BOOKS
The Chickens Are Coming!
The Chickens Are Coming! illus. by Barbara Samuels. 40p. Farrar. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374300975. POP
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PreS-Gr 2–Many picture books that focus on pet care are about cats, dogs, and even gerbils, but few are devoted to chickens. These birds are going to be raised in a city environment, rather than the country, adding a few delightfully surprising and humorous elements. The differences between raising chickens and a more conventional pet (like a dog) are mentioned; for instance, chickens can lay eggs and don't need to be walked. The children in the story discover, however, it takes longer than they thought for the eggs to be laid. By the time the eggs do appear, the family has bonded in a special way with the five different breeds of chicken and come to appreciate each hen's distinctive personality. Samuel's full-spread illustrations are chock-full of interesting details, such as comments made by members of a class who are willing to trade two hamsters and a gerbil that can do handstands for a chicken during show-and-tell.
VERDICT This bright and funny read-aloud will enliven any storytime. Chickens rule the roost.

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