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CHICKS! by Sandra Horning


by Sandra Horning & illustrated by Jon Goodell

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-307-93221-1
Publisher: Random House

Step by step, a family acquires chicks and watches them grow into chickens old enough to produce eggs and chicks themselves.

Even today, not all chickens are raised on farms. Some, like the ones in this book, are thriving in the backyards of homes in areas where zoning permits. From the family’s trip to the farm to purchase three chicks through early indoor nurturing to building outdoor shelter and then nest boxes, the story proceeds chronologically. The very simple text includes plenty of repetition to support beginning readers as well as words specific to the activity: brooder and coop, beaks and wattles, chirp and cluck. The farmer is African-American, and the mom, dad, girl and boy pictured may well be Latino—a welcome departure from the norm in agricultural stories. The chickens are realistically drawn. The illustrations support the text, offering plentiful clues. This entry, at the Step 1 level in the long-running Step into Reading series, reflects the current demand for engaging informational reading at all levels. It more than meets that need, standing out for its clear description of the process and its subtle multicultural appeal.

Whether these fowl are feathered friends or future food, they are nourishing.

(Informational early reader. 4-7)