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The Chicken Problem Library Binding – September 25, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Peg likes solving problems. Her cat, Cat, likes helping her. And both of them like pie. One day when they visit Pig at the farm, they happen to have a pie, which Peg divides. But—Big Problem!—there’s one small piece left. So Cat opens the door to the chicken coop and brings out a chickie to eat the pie. Problem solved? Nope. Big Problem! The door’s unlatched, and soon 100 chickens are leaping and somersaulting around the yard. Although it’s billed as a math-concept book, there’s relatively little here about counting (most of the addition comes from counting chickens or from the simple addition used to indicate page numbers). That aspect could have been dropped because this is plenty cute on its own. The effort put into the design—graph paper backgrounds, typewriter lettering, and pages overflowing with tiny, identical chicks—makes for a real eye-catcher. The ebullient pictures match a text that’s as funny as it is fowl. Kids can count away, but mostly they’ll be giggling. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

BILLY ARONSON'S plays have been produced frequently by Ensemble Studio Theatre and published in five volumes of Best American Short Plays. His writing for the musical theater includes the original concept and additional lyrics for Rent, and the book for the Theatreworks USA musical Click Clack Moo. His TV writing includes scripts for MTV's Beavis & Butt-head, Cartoon Network's Courage the Cowardly Dog, Sesame Workshop's Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures, and Nickelodeon's The Wonder Pets!, for which he was head writer and won an Emmy Award. He is presently working with artist Jennifer Oxley to turn Peg and Cat into a television show. Billy lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lisa Vogel and their offspring, Jake and Anna.

JENNIFER OXLEY was born in Hollywood, California, and made her first film at the age of seven. She's the recipient of an Emmy Award for her role as director on Nick Jr.'s Little Bill. Most recently she created the look and animation style for the award-winning television series The Wonder Pets! Jennifer has directed over 15 short films that have been screened at festivals around the world. Her most recent film, The Music Box was just acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for their permanent children's film collection. Jennifer lives and works in New York City as an independent filmmaker and artist. She's currently creating a television series with writer Billy Aronson for PBS Kids.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375969896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375969898
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.3 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,152,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was once in Prospect Park in Brooklyn when I passed a very small child wearing a porkpie hat running as fast as his chubby legs could carry him. Behind him his father yelled out (to little avail), "Pontius! Pontius, slow down!" I mention this because there is a particular Brooklyn aesthetic to a picture book like "The Chicken Problem". Consider, if you will, its heroine Peg. Here she is sporting a mighty trendy little outfit replete with striped tights and buckled red boots. Even her name, Peg, suggests that she was named after Peggy Lee or someone of equal caliber. Notice too that she's playing a ukulele on the endpapers and that pretty much clinches it. Peg is trendy. Too trendy for your preschooler? Not in the least. Peg may be a specific type of heroine peculiar to a single geographical location but with her urbane Cat and her trouble with high-spirited chicks this is one of those memorable heroines and one-on-one readalouds that add a little bit of math to a little bit of story alongside a whole lot of fine and beautiful art to bring us one fine fine book.

It's a bright and beautiful day when young Peg and her cat Cat go to the farm to have a perfect picnic with a pig. Peg is one of those girls who like everything to be just so, and when she discovers that she accidentally cut an extra slice of pie she feels it's a dire problem. Cat solves the inbalance by removing a very small chick from a nearby coop and surely that would be the end of that . . . if he'd managed to remember to close the coop door. Suddenly one hundred chickens are free and roaming the farm. It's up to Peg, Cat, and maybe that pig they picked up, to figure out a way to cajole these freedom loving fowl into returning from whence they came.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Terry on January 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Does your school or library celebrate the hundredth day? This book would be a fun read for a young group.
The story presents a little girl, Peg, who loves solving problems and her feline friend, Cat, who helps her. At a farm one day, Peg, Cat, and pig are about to eat pie, but there is one tiny piece too many, which is a BIG PROBLEM. When Cat gets a little chick out of the coup for the piece, Cat accidentally leaves the door open and creates a REALLY BIG PROBLEM. Now there are a hundred chicks running wild!
The illustrations are bright and fresh, with some pages on a graph paper background. Each page has, instead of page numbers, the page number + 1 more, in the form of an equation (5 + 1 = 6). There is music: Peg sings a little song as she picks up ten chickens. But there are still chickens everywhere. Peg is so frustrated trying to get all the chicks back in the coup that she says, "I'm totally freaking out!" She calms down by counting back from five to one, and then she thinks of a way to get the chicks back in the coup.
This is a great readaloud, with opportunities to sing and count. The words are rhythmic and repetitive. Peg is a good example of a child getting frustrated but able to work on a problem and find a solution. And, many children have chickens or have classroom baby chicks and will love the fun of seeing the chicks doing silly things. Don't glue down the endpapers or you'll miss pictures and names of the hundred chickens who "posed" for the pictures. (For example, Wyatt Chirp and Michele Squawkmann!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Irene's Book Reviews on January 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is such a funny book! I enjoyed the illustrations as well as the story itself. I gave this book 5/5 stars. It not only is funny but also educational. In the story she is counting 100 little chicks. As she searches for them she counts how many she has found or how many she still needs. It is not complicated but actually very easy to follow. Kids will enjoy the story so much they will not even realize they are reading a book with a math problem in it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RK on December 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love the show... now we love the book! My almost 2 year old loves Peg and her quirky cat Cat. Some people don't like that the math involved isn't very advanced or structured but I think this book strikes the right balance for really little ones by introducing the concepts without making it all about the lesson. Learning should be fun and it most assuredly is with Peg + Cat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By polly on June 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a fantastic book. As an Illustrator, I really love the style and my kids adore this book. It's currently the favorite in our house. I get a good laugh out of the acknowledgments in the back. It's great that they added some special touches like that. One of the best kids books I have seen in a long long time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a nutshell: This book is about a little girl named Peg who wants to have a pie picnic with a pig and a cat. Unfortunately, she has an extra piece of pie and has to find someone to eat it. In the process, she encounters a chicken problem. This is one of my favorites. It’s freakin’ adorable. The pictures look hand drawn by a fifth-grader on graph paper. And it’s a clever story about math. Math?!

The page numbers allowed me to introduce the concept of equations as they read: 5+1=6; 6+1=7, etc. There are clever little mathematical signs hidden in the illustrations. And frankly, we’re into chickens. Preferably organic, grass-fed, egg-laying chickens, but that’s a previous story.

Families can talk about: What does equals mean? And how to keep your cool when you’re totally freaking out. Most importantly, families can continue flipping back repeatedly to page 8+1=9 to re-quote “Chickens standing on each other’s heads! Chickens doing the chicken dance! Chickens bending over and wiggling their bottoms in the air!”

I’d highly recommend this book, but beware, you soon may also be battling The Bum-Bum Problem.
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