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The Trouble With Chickens (J.J. Tully Mystery #1)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,056 ratings  ·  397 reviews
J.J. Tully is a former search-and rescue dog who is trying to enjoy his retirement after years of performing daring missions saving lives. So he’s not terribly impressed when two chicks named Dirt and Sugar (who look like popcorn on legs) and their chicken mom show up demanding his help to track down their missing siblings. Driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J.J. beg ...more
ebook, 144 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Balzer + Bray (first published January 1st 2011)
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Maureen Milton
I got this book from the library because I thought it might appeal to some of the Primaries, newly hatched readers who are now studying things that hatch. It seemed a perfect match, but this title, "The Trouble With Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery," like some of Cronin's other work, suffers from confusion of audience. In tone and language, this book wants to parody Raymond Chandler's "private dick on a case." However, I suspect that few children of Primary age are familiar with "The Long Goodbye, ...more
Mark Flowers
Just as Click Clack Moo (as brilliant as I find that book) raised questions about how many young readers would be familiar with typewriters, so this novel raises the question with regard to detective fiction (a question it shares with the Chet Gecko series). I don't necessarily have a problem with parodying adult genres in children's lit, but it seems like you'd want to pick a genre kids are likely to be familiar with through TV or movies.

Nevertheless, I don't have that problem - I've read Raym
Dec 09, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books
This is a fun mystery for kids. The narrative is entertaining and has a bit of a hardboiled edge to it, with some acerbic wit and wry commentary.

The story is told from two perspectives, the detective (J.J. Tully) and his foe (Vince the funnel). The first time we noticed the change in perspective, we were a bit confused, but then we realized that the icon at the top of the page at the beginning of each chapter marked the switch in narrator and we were better prepared for the shift as we continue
The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin is an adorable children’s chapter book. J.J. Tully had a fantastic career as a search and rescue dog, and from the start of the story, he is currently enjoying retirement. As this is a story, we know things don’t stay quite so peaceful for J.J. One day two chicks, Dirt and Sugar, and the mother hen, Hazel, come to J.J. asking for help in tracking down the missing siblings with the promise of a cheeseburger for a reward.

Read the rest of my review by clic
Full Title:
The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery

For Ages:

Children's Literature, Fiction, Humourous, Mystery, Animals

Reviewed and Approved by:
Girl Guides of Canada

Retirement? Pah! Not for this dedicated veteran of search-and-rescue! J.J. Tully is about to embark on his next great case, with the help of two feebly chicks, Dirt and Sugar, "who look like popcorn on legs." Their two little siblings are missing and J.J is the only one who dares to solve this mystery!

With th
J.J. is a retired search-and-rescue dog that now spends his days lazing about on the farm with his trainer, Barb. This is far from his idea of a perfect life, and he finds himself frustrated and bored more often than not.

Enter Moosh, a mama chicken with a mystery to solve, and her two feisty chicks -- all birds that won't take no for an answer. What follows is a fast-paced whodunnit style mystery complete with an intriguingly named villain (Vince the Funnel) bent on causing problems for everyone
Sarah W
Doreen Cronin, author of Diary of a Spider, breaks into chapter books with the fast-paced, funny The Trouble with Chickens. J. J. Tully is a retired search-and-rescue dog now living out in the country with his trainer who finds retirement less than restful when a chicken named Millicent drags him into a case. Two of her chicks are missing, and Millicent is insistent J.J. find them even if the mother chicken doesn't have a clue what a dog charges for work (A hint is that chicken feed won't buy a ...more
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin through Librarything's Early Review program. I was not compensated for my review.

I was both excited and wary about reading this book. I love Doreen Cronin's picture books: Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and Diary of a Worm are two of my favorites. Yet, I wasn't sure how her creative picture book style would translate to chapter book format.

She handles the transition beautifully. This is a book that will have appea
Jonathan Joseph Tully, a retired Search and Rescue dog, is hired by worried mother Millicent to find her two missing chicks, Poppy and Sweetie – but this SAR mission is not as simple as it seems.

The Trouble with Chickens is the kind of book that will make you stop and read aloud hilarious sentences to anyone nearby. Cronin has taken a very simple missing-child mystery and turned it into something much denser. Younger readers may not fully appreciate all the humor of J.J.’s detective style, but
Move over Sam Spade! Make way for Jonathan Joseph Tully (J.J. for short), retired search-and-rescue dog. J.J.'s reputation as a problem-solver sends Moosh, a chicken with a big problem, his way. Try as he may, he can't get rid of the determined mother hen, so they come to an agreement. He won't work for children feed, but he will work for a cheeseburger. Moosh has a missing chick, and J.J. sets out to find it, running "afowl" of a scheming dachshund along the way.

Young readers won't find a singl
"Illustrations large and small are generously sprinkled throughout and serve to emphasize the humorous content. Kevin Cornell does a great job painting J.J. every shade of cranky, from mildly irritated to full-on furious, and the chickens and chicks are likewise expressive. I think it's the villain of this book, the demented Vince the Funnel (what a great name!) that I like the best, though. Glowering from the depths of his veterinary lampshade, Vince is thrillingly evil and ludicrous at the sam ...more
John Briggs
This book is a parody of the hard-boiled detective novels of the '40s and '50s, but your young reader doesn't have to know anything about Sam Spade or Mike Hammer to get the jokes or follow the story. I think I got more out of the parody than my ten-year-old son, but he laughed in the right places and knew this wasn't to be taken seriously. It was a quick read for him, and held his interest throughout. The detective's internal monologues are as clipped and sardonic as if Raymond Chandler or Mick ...more
As a read-alone, I'd give this 3 stars, because though the storyline is enjoyable, it's not strong, and my 8 year old was bored of it after the first few chapters on her own. However, as a read-aloud, the "voice" is so fun and packed with a cowboy-poetry-Hank-The-Cowdog-I'll-leave-the-light-on kind of presence, that vocalized, my girls were giggling and begging for more, which encouraged me to read later than bedtime and finish up in the morning during breakfast.
This is a funny story. I bought it to read aloud to my 7 year old son but after I read the first chapter he liked it so much he wanted to go ahead and read some more on his own instead of waiting for me. He ended up finishing it in a couple of days. I read it too because I thought it was cute and I wanted to be able to talk to him about it. The chapters are short and the story moves at a pace that keeps you interested. My son is excited to read the sequel.
My son is planning to do the Battle of the Books this year and I am reading the books on the list with him. This was our first read and I quite enjoyed it. It is a very easy-to-read book, but the plot did have some complexity and twists. The book also has different POVs without explicitly stating so, exposing kids to this technique and also making them think. Fun and easy read!
May 24, 2011 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Darsa and hooligans
A hard-boiled detective novel for young middle-grade readers--funny, if a bit of a one-trick pony. I'm pretty sure I would have liked this a lot when I was a kid (if I had deigned to read it, which I wouldn't have--animals, you know). Curious to get some kid perspectives on it. I saw this mentioned in early Newbery discussion; sure, why not?
Cronin's made a nice transition from the easier Farmer Brown reads. She has definitely kept the brains, the wit, and the wry, dusty (well they are dogs and chickens) view of life -- so glad. Another great recommendation from a sharp reader friend of mine, so I will recommend it in turn.
Rachel Seigel
This book is absolutely hysterical! Doreen Cronin has terrific wit, and it had me and my co-workers howling with laughter and reading passages aloud to one another. My only criticism is that I'm not sure that the 7-9 year-old age group will totally get it.
The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin is another book on my 9 year old son's Battle of the Books list. He is an "expert" on this book so I decided to read it myself as well. Here's what my son, C, said about the book:

"A dog named J.J. Tully has a chicken named Millicent come to his dog house and ask for help finding her baby chickens. J.J. was a rescue dog so he knew how to find people and she figured he could find chickens too. J.J. agrees to help in exchange for a cheeseburger. But he was
Feb 18, 2014 Jess rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: eh
Recommended to Jess by: Monarch Nominee
Shelves: 14, juniors

Honestly? Kids are going to get confused. The vocab* is too hard for kid's who'll check it out. The book looks younger than it it. It switches narrators out of nowhere for no good reason. Classic mystery references aren't something you jam into an elementary school book. J.J. gives several of the characters nicknames and the book uses both the name and the nickname and who's keeping all that straight?

*Here's some of the words in this 2nd grade book: corridor, adrenaline, debris, presume, lur
Heidi Schutt
Looking for a book to read as a family? Try Doreen Cronin's The Trouble with Chickens! It's funny! It's a mystery! It might be "eggsactly" what you're looking for! And there's a book 2 :)
This book is about a rescued dog trying to help a ma chicken find her missing chicks. This is a funny book,that looks long, but is a very fast read. I recommend this book for all ages.
Nicole C
Hilarious. Great language and witty. Kids will love this one, and it would make a great read aloud.
Colby Sharp
I love chickens, and I love good chapter books.
I made a mistake this summer and I failed to get anyone from the community to come to the Cub Scout day camp to entertain the campers after lunch, so it was up to me. All I could think of was to read to them this book. I knew it would be lame: reading a book at summer camp, but it is all that I had. The campers loved it! The hero dog is an extraordinary protagonist, and the chickens are adorable. My son is re-reading it this fall. He laughs out loud at the crazy mother chicken. I love it when he ...more
Carol Royce Owen
I loved the idea of this book and immediately found myself reading it in a classic detective voice. A mother chicken shows up at J. J. Tully's dog house for his help in finding two of her chicks. A retired search and rescue dog, J.J. is up for the task, but annoyed by being constantly followed by the chicken, Millicent, whom he calls Moosh, "just because it's easier to say and it seemed to annoy her," and her two remaining chicks, Little Boo and Peep, which he calls "Dirt and Sugar, for no parti ...more
Aug 23, 2011 Gmr rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all ages
J.J. Tully is one serious dog in search of a little R & R. Normally those initials would mean "rest and relaxation" especially when considering J.J. is retired (he was a daring rescue dog, no less) but this dog isn't one to say no when trouble comes calling. He answers that door (no matter how reluctantly) and pursues the truth until the mystery is solved or the missing one found. This case though...may be more than meets the beady eye....after all, can you really trust a chicken?

If you're r
My thoughts:
I wasn't sure what to expect from a children's book on the Kindle, but it was great! I don't doubt that the illustrations are better in color but they are still wonderful in black and white!

The story is about a former search and rescue dog named J.J., a chicken, four chicks, and another dog they call Vince the Funnel. Two of the chicks are missing and the chicken hires J.J. to find them.

The Trouble with Chickens was a fast, fun read! The author does a great job of giving the anima
The Trouble With Chickens (J.J. Tully Mystery #1) by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Kevin Cornell, is the story of retired search-and-rescue dog J.J. Tully, who searches for two missing chicks, which seems to involve his nemesis Vince the Funnel, an inside dog.

Cornell's expression-filled black and white illustrations highlight the humorous characters. At first I thought they were too silly, but they match the slap-stick aspects of this story and still have a sweetness as well. My favorite images
J.J. is a retired rescue dog. He wants nothing more than to lay in the sun and sleep. He's had a long and useful-even exciting and at times-heartbreaking career. Did he really want to "retire"? I don't think so.

Snoozing in his doghouse that hot and sunny day, he suddenly gets visitors, 3 chickens named Millicent (moosh, because it annoyed her), and Dirt and Sugar, her chicks (Little Boo and Peep are their real names). Moosh seems shy and almost afraid to talk to J.J. so it becomes up to the litt
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Doreen Cronin was a practicing attorney in Manhattan when her first book Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type became a publishing success. But her book was not published overnight, in fact, she had written this barnyard tale even before attending law school but only received rejection letters from publishers. Five years after submitting the original manuscript she got a call from a publisher who want ...more
More about Doreen Cronin...
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type Giggle, Giggle, Quack Diary of a Worm Dooby Dooby Moo Diary of a Spider

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