A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Chicken Problem is a perfect book for a kid who's just learning to count and do basic addition. The story and characters are engaging, and every page comes alive with animated pigs and chickens, set against graph paper that's scattered with math symbols and numbers. Clever details, such as page numbers, are given as simple addition problems. Also, endpapers filled with sketches of very individual chickens offer much to talk about. Authors Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson have created a new series Peg + Cat on PBS Kids, based on the further adventures of main characters Peg and Cat.
What's the story?
It all begins when Peg needs one more guest to make her pie picnic perfect. Cat tries to help but, in the process, creates the even more unmanageable problem of 100 escaping chicks. On the verge of \"freaking out\" because she realizes just how many chicks are on the loose, Peg counts to 10 to calm down, and she, Cat, and Pig come up with a plan that saves the day. Counting, logic, and cooperation as well as a willingness to tackle the problem themselves are the reasons they succeed. Numbers and math symbols are scattered amid the very cute drawings of barnyard scenes and, of course, the 100 very individualized chicks. Even the endpapers, both in the front and back, are filled with sketches of various people, animals, numbers...and more chicks.
Is it any good?
This is more than just a counting book; it's about the joy of solving problems, no matter how overwhelming, and it definitely makes math look like fun. The story is a simple one with a happy ending and a great lesson. The colorful, animated illustrations make Peg and Cat's math-infused world come alive with energy and friendship that will captivate even more sophisticated readers. The characters have just enough cuteness to make them lovable and believable, and each scene, set against graph paper covered with faded equations, will give both kids and their parents plenty to look at and share.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about problem solving. How do you feel when you face a problem? Why does Peg start to freak out? Have you ever felt like she does? What helps her out? What helps you?
Parents and kids can share endless hours of math fun counting the chicks as well as other plants and animals in the illustrations, doing the simple addition expressing the page numbers, and finding hidden math symbols.
The authors set each scene against graph paper that looks as if it has already been used for math calculations. What does that tell you about the world surrounding Peg and Cat?
- Authors: Jennifer Oxley, Billy Aronson
- Illustrator: Jennifer Oxley
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Cats, dogs, and mice, Horses and farm animals, Numbers and letters
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Random House
- Publication date: September 25, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 3 - 7
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Hardback
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love counting
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.