A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Many kids will be way ahead of the chickens when it comes to figuring out, for example, that if you make four left turns you wind up in pretty much the same place -- or knowing the difference between feet and inches, a concept on which not all the characters are perfectly clear. They'll probably notice that the Weird Blue Chicken looks a lot like a blue jay, too.
Kindness, sharing, and learning to like new things. Helping those who need it.
Positive Role Models
The Chicken Squad siblings -- Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie -- generally mean well but somehow manage to cause more problems than they solve. Retired search-and-rescue dog/detective J.J. Tully has the working dog's work ethic, which gives him low expectations about the chicks' work, but he's always a protective presence in the background.
Violence & Scariness
One bird is dealing with another who's taken over her house; a mean squirrel tries to take away a hammer from the Chicken Squad, all of whom are planning to use it as a weapon; a birdhouse falls from a tree and shatters, startling its occupant.
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Products & Purchases
Occasional references to other books featuring the Chicken Squad.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken is the second installment in bestselling author Doreen Cronin's series about the fuzzy, troublemaking Chicken Squad, with a cameo appearance by retired search-and-rescue dog J.J. Tully. The good news: Not much is problematic, and there are a few gentle lessons about kindness and sharing. The bad news: Kevin Cornell's funny illustrations and endless silliness can't disguise the fact that there's not much of a plot or much sense of resolution once the "mystery" is solved. This just isn't one of the strongest books featuring the chickens, though it's fine for short-term amusement.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of the first misadventure in the Chicken Squad series and The Trouble with Chickens will enjoy THE CASE OF THE WEIRD BLUE CHICKEN. Those reading aloud will love the opportunities for comic character voices and sound effects. Kevin Cornell's funny illustrations bring the characters to life. Many kids will have plenty of chances to outsmart the silly chickens as the mystery unfurls, and lots of ridiculous antics along the way keep things entertaining. But all this distraction can't disguise the slightness of the plot, and the resolution will have quite a few readers wondering, "That's it?"
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.