The Trouble with Chickens
written by Doreen Cronin; illustrated by Kevin Cornell
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2011
For children 7-11
A hard-boiled private eye. A dame in distress. A missing, er, relative (or two).
Readers will find no Maltese Falcons in Doreen Cronin's new mystery, just chickens and dogs and some funny storytelling. The chapter book opens with J.J. Tully, the reluctant detective and a former search-and-rescue dog, meeting his client for the first time:
She was a short, tired-looking bird with a funny red comb on her head.
It looked about as useful to her as a spoon is to a snake.
An excellent read-aloud for any age, The Trouble with Chickens is the first book in a new series starring J.J. Tully. Doreen Cronin, who also wrote such picture books as Diary of a Worm and Click, Clack, Moo, has made a successful leap into middle-grade fiction.