I Love Mozart: My First Sound Book. Marion Billet. 2019. Scholastic. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy] First sentence: Let's celebrate Mozart's music! Premise/plot: This board book "introduces" little ones to six selections of classical music from ...

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"Young Readers" - 5 new articles

  1. Board book: I Love Mozart!
  2. Into the Wild
  3. The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken
  4. The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure
  5. The Trouble with Chickens
  6. More Recent Articles

Board book: I Love Mozart!

I Love Mozart: My First Sound Book. Marion Billet. 2019. Scholastic. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Let's celebrate Mozart's music!

Premise/plot: This board book "introduces" little ones to six selections of classical music from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The songs included are: "Sonata for Violin and Piano," "Clarinet Concerto," "Sonata Facile," "Symphony No. 40," "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," and "Twelve Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

My thoughts: One of my favorite things about this one is that there is an off/on switch. Board books with batteries are tricky. On the one hand, they are usually fun. On the other hand, the batteries won't last all that long. The more beloved a book is, the quicker the battery dies. Then it is just SAD, SAD, super-sad. Little fingers can touch the 'buttons' on each spread to start and stop the music. Each song lasts under a minute.


Mozart is my favorite composer.


© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers
    

Into the Wild

Into the Wild. (Chicken Squad #3) Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. 2016. 112 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence:  "I got a bad feeling about that new box over there," said Sugar.

Premise/plot: Dirt (Peep), Sugar (Little Boo), Poppy (Poppy), and Sweetie (Sweet Coconut Louise) ARE the chicken squad. Supposedly these chicks are DETECTIVES who solve cases. In this one no one has come to them asking for help. Barbara--their owner--has built a box in her backyard. It is CONFUSING the chicks--greatly. Who is in the box?

My thoughts: This is the third book in the Chicken Squad series. In this one, the four chicks try to piece together the mystery of WHO is in the BOX in the backyard. Is it a real case since no one has come to ask them for help? Since the chicks are just curious themselves? This early reader series is only a mystery series in the very lightest of terms. The characterization has just as much substance as the mysteries--that is it's almost nonexistent. But it's a quick read with a few laughs.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers
    

The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken

The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken. (Chicken Squad #2) Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Kevin Cornell. 2014. 112 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Dirt. Sugar. Poppy. Sweetie. You lost it. We'll find it.

Premise/plot: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie are the chicken squad--a team of chicks who solve backyard mysteries for fun. This one features a WEIRD BLUE CHICKEN. A blue bird has come to them for help....

My thoughts: It's a quick read. I did like this one more than the first book in the series. (The Blue Bird aka the "weird blue chicken" isn't all that bright and the running gag through this one is that he mixes up inches and feet.) It was enjoyable enough, but overall a bit mindless. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers
    

The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure

The First Misadventure. (Chicken Squad #1) Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Kevin Cornell. 2014. 112 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Welcome to the yard! Meet the Chicken Squad: Four fuzzy little chicks who should fill their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs but instead spend most of their time looking for trouble and finding it.

Premise/plot: Dirt (Peep), Sugar (Little Boo), Poppy (Poppy), and Sweetie (Sweet Coconut Louise) ARE the chicken squad. In this first adventure--or misadventure--the chicks are hard on a case. A squirrel has come to them for help. He's absolutely terrified of something...but of what?!?! Can these four chicks educate a squirrel in the process of helping him overcome his fear(s)?

My thoughts: This was a quick read. I wanted to love, love, love it because HELLO, they are chickens. But so far it's more of a  LIKE for me. So far I'm having a hard time making distinctions between Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie in terms of personality and character. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers
    

The Trouble with Chickens

The Trouble with Chickens (J.J. Tully #1) Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Kevin Cornell. 2011. 120 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken.

Premise/plot: J.J. Tully is a former search-and-rescue dog who is kept busy by his owner's "crazy" chickens. In this one, readers meet Moosh (Millicent) and her four chicks (Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie). Two of her chicks have gone MISSING. Can J.J. find them? Are they in danger?

My thoughts: I met J.J. Tully and the chicks not through this one but through a later book series, the Chicken Squad series. That series is narrated mainly by the four chicks. I am enjoying the characters. But I like the Chicken Squad series better. In this one, the characters are still a bit floundering about finding their voices. It was a nice read but not a wonderful one. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers
    

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