One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller (Kate Read)


Hello, friends! Our book today is One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller by Kate Read, an exciting book of numbers for little readers.

One (1) famished fox has two (2) sly eyes, and the wily creature spots three (3) plump hens. As this barnyard thriller unfolds, we follow the dastardly fox as it plots against the hens, aiming to procure their five (5) delicious eggs. It sneaks into the henhouse that night, and the hens are started by ten (10) sharp teeth! Will this counting adventure end in tragedy? Or is there something in even greater numbers that awaits…

Colorful and clever. Read composes her simple yet entertaining story – with a wickedly funny twist – using a judicious economy of language, confining each page to a number, a descriptor, and the subject. It keeps things easy for the smallest reader while combining some core concepts of vocabulary and counting to build on. The colorful, collage-art style illustrations are pleasantly reminiscent of Carle, and burst with visual excitement against the simple backgrounds. And not to worry – the terrified chickens and their eggs make it out unharmed. The length was great, and JJ was delighted by the action and suspense of the story. This will definitely be a fresh favorite for young bookworms, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Let’s Hatch Chicks!: Explore The Wonderful World Of Chickens And Eggs (Lisa Steele)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Let’s Hatch Chicks!: Explore The Wonderful World Of Chickens And Eggs, written by Lisa Steele and illustrated by Perry Taylor, an adorably informative instruction book for young poultry enthusiasts.

The book begins by introducing Violet, a Lavender Orpington chicken (based on Steele’s real-life hen) who lives on a sunny farm with a happy herd of chickens in a lovely coop. Violet is ready to become a mommy chicken, and there’s lots to do to prepare for little chicks of her own. The reader follows through the process of egg laying, brooding, hatching, and the early and adolescence of young chickens, and soon, they will be more than prepared to help care for chickens and chicks of their own.

Very cool! The many, many elements of breeding and raising chickens are simplified down to a kid-friendly format, then laid out in a pseudo-story, allowing children to learn as they invest in Violet and her chicks. The information is formatted especially well, making each new piece of information it’s own self-contained section, so as to educate without being too overwhelming or dry. The illustrations also do a great service here, visualizing the animals in a darling yet realistic style that provides engaging visual aides. This isn’t a true storybook, and not for reading in one sitting (though JJ still loved the art), but is a perfect book for families introducing their little ones to chicken farming. A wonderful resource for aspiring chicken fanciers and/or farmers, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

The Chicken-Chasing Queen Of Lamar County (Janice N. Harrington)

Hello, friends! We’re back today with a review of The Chicken-Chasing Queen Of Lamar County, written by Janice N. Harrington and illustrated by Shelley Jackson, a whimsical story of a precocious young girl and her quest to catch a very elusive chicken.

A little girl opens the story by introducing herself as the Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County. Even though Big Mama tells her to leave the chickens alone, the little girl can’t help it; she adores the exciting fun of sneaking up and snatching the unsuspecting chickens on her family’s farm. In fact, she’s caught every chicken except one: Miss Hen, a beautiful red who’s far cleverer than she looks. The Queen tries her best, but Miss Hen is just too slippery. Right up until the Queen well and truly has her dead to rights… but finds that perhaps Miss Hen has a reason to be so sly that is more important than playing chase.

This was a really fun story with a wonderfully joyful protagonist and some lovely art. Everything about the text and story feels immersive, and makes it great fun as you follow along with the very “serious” business of chicken-chasing. The art is a wonderful mix of gorgeously expressive humans against mixed-media environments and creatures, and the patchwork quality of the titular chickens is especially enchanting. The length is fine, and JJ and I had a lot of fun with this one. A fun ride into the adventures of a little girl, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Tough Chicks (Cece Meng)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Tough Chicks, written by Cece Meng and illustrated by Melissa Suber, a wonderful allegory for choosing to be who you are instead of who people think you should be.

From the day Mama Hen hatches Penny, Polly and Molly, she can tell that they are different. They’re not content to fluff their feathers or peck quietly like chicks are supposed to do. Instead, they are filled with the urge to explore, learn, create and, yes, occasionally get into a bit of trouble. And while everyone on the farm insists that Mother Hen teach her daughters to be proper, “good” chicks, she insists that her girls are good – just different. And when Farmer Fred accidentally sends his broken tractor careening towards the barnyard, the tough chicks will have the opportunity to show everyone that being brave, intelligent and resourceful can often save the day.

Loved this one! Obviously, the story has a strong feminist message, using the double meaning of “chicks” to show how little (and big) girls are often expected to quiet, unobtrusive, and even meek. I especially loved how the three chicks show wonderfully well-rounded personalities: they’re not causing trouble by being cruel or disrespectful, instead being shown building, creating, experimenting, tinkering and learning (while still occasionally being a raucous just for the fun of it). The illustrations are great, playful and bright but full of personality, and the length is good too. JJ and I both really enjoyed this girl-power tale, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Poultrygeist (Mary Jane and Herm Auch)

Halloween Week, Day 4: Hello, friends! Today, we read Poultrygeist by Mary Jane and Herm Auch, a funny story about two troublesome roosters being taught a lesson in manners.

Ralph and Rudy are roosters on the same farm who fight – often, and LOUDLY. The other animals don’t mind so much during the day, but Clarissa the cow and Sophie the sheep are sick of being woken throughout the night with their noisy crowing. Just before Halloween, however, it seems that the rowdy roosters have awoken a spooky ghost with their racket – the Poultrygeist!

This was a fun little Halloween barnyard story with a lesson about being respectful of others added in. The illustrations are colorful and cute, and while the length might be stretching it for some baby bookworms, JJ enjoyed it. Baby Bookworm approved!