Daniel, who loves all animals, learns a lot about chickens when he takes five chicks home.
When Mrs. Lopez announces that her third-grade class is going to hatch eggs, Daniel can hardly contain his enthusiasm. Daniel hopes a lot of eggs will hatch and that he will get to bring one of the chicks home, even though his mother has declared, “No more animals!” He ends up with five chicks, and the challenges begin. First, his neighbor, former principal Mr. Grafalo, dislikes the chicks, while Mrs. Grafalo, who loves them, has to move to a nursing home. Then there are the challenges of building a coop and keeping the chicks safe from dogs and coyotes. And when Peepers, Daniel’s favorite chick, grows up to be a rooster, Daniel breaks the local ordinance forbidding roosters. A quick, kid-friendly plot, amusing black-and-white illustrations and lots of interesting chicken facts make this a great choice for animal-loving chapter-book readers. Children who hatch classroom chicks will nod in recognition every step of the way. Many municipalities are now allowing backyard chickens; this story will help explain poultry keeping. It’s nice, too, to read about a mom who works outside the home and a father who works at home, taking care of day-to-day life.
Chickens and children are lucky to live in this family. (Fiction. 6-10)