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The Chicken Problem

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  255 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Full of humor, refreshingly original characters, and math problems that young readers will be clamoring to help solve, The Chicken Problem is an ideal addition to the home or classroom. Left-brained Peg and her right-brained pal, Cat, are enjoying a picnic on the farm with Pig. However, when someone leaves the chicken coop open and the chicks run-a-muck, it's up to Peg and ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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10th out of 32 books — 4 voters
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99th out of 127 books — 16 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 427)
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Dec 04, 2012 Betsy rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Kalli rated it liked it
This book has a beautiful layout, and charming illustrations with a story that will have small children laughing. I found it to be funny, but the problem was also resolved much too quickly and without any insight from the main character-just her cat. Cat solved the problem by simply looking around- not by any use of imagination or problem solving skills. Or perhaps that's the message; that the solution to a problem could be right in front of you. Certainly a good message, but I think the author ...more
Rachel Watkins
Oct 04, 2012 Rachel Watkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I adore this book! What seems to be a simple story about a picnic spoiled by 100 escaped chicks is actually a tale that subtly exposes a young reader to math in everyday settings. The illustrations appear to be drawn on graph paper and even the page numbers are addition problems. Added bonus? A nod to *mindfulness* when the main character, Peg, takes a deep breath and counts down from 5 when she is overwhelmed due to all the fowl.
Jessica Davis
Apr 28, 2015 Jessica Davis rated it it was ok
The book "The Chicken Problem" by Jennifer Oxley & Billy Aronson is a Children's picture book. For Age groups 3-7.

This book is about how they only needed one little chicken instead they ended up with 100 chickens out of chicken coop. They had to find away to get them all back, but the one. I gave this book 2 stars because it started with them counting chickens, but the numbers didn't match up. I think it would end up confusing the children. It had good pictures was a tad bit funny. But still
Sep 29, 2013 babyhippoface rated it liked it
Peg wants to have a picnic with her cat and a pig. I don't know why the pig. But he's kind of cute. Peg also loves to solve problems, which is a good thing, since her cat, Cat, accidentally lets 100 tiny chicks out of their coop. Whoops.

Peg starts problem-solving and picks up 10 chicks. Woo-Hoo! But there are 90 other chickies still dancing around the barnyard. It's craziness. Luckily, there are three handy-dandy wheelbarrows nearby, just the right size for Peg, Cat, and the pig to fill with ch
The Styling Librarian
The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson – another lovely math book with everyday life problems occurring through a really cute book. I love the graph paper background, addition problems tucked at the bottom of the page and exclamation marks used in an entertaining, cute way… My Favorites were: “Chickens standing on each other’s heads! Chickens doing the chicken dance! Chickens bending over and wiggling their botttoms in the air!” Really special picture book with an adorable cat w ...more
Jun 05, 2013 Barbara rated it really liked it
Trying to figure where this might fit. It seems to start out as a number book, but quickly morphs into more of a problem solving story, without manipulating actual numbers. I am still trying to figure out the significance of the equation at the bottom of every page, other than to show everyone what a one looks like, and to add by ones. I love the illustrations, and once the 100 chickens appeared in the story I was caught. The vocabulary is great -all of the chicken activity. Cat saves the day wi ...more
Jul 11, 2013 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
If the point of this book is to teach young children some basic math concepts, I don't think it does a good job (and the story in and of itself isn't great enough to carry the book otherwise). If the author had incorporated more counting, a little subtraction, and had a page where all 100 of the chickens were numbered so kids could count them, this book would have been so much better. The page numbering on the bottom was clever (1+1=2 for the second page, 1+2=3 for the third page, and so forth) ...more
Debby Baumgartner
Peg, cat and pig are all set for a picnic when they discover there is one piece of tiny pie left. Cat goes to the chicken coop and gets a little chicken but he forgets to lock the gate then the fun begins.
Dec 19, 2012 Kelsey rated it liked it
Shelves: k-2nd, preschool, math
Age: Preschool-1st grade

When someone leaves the chicken coop open and the chicks run-a-muck, it's up to Peg and Cat to use their math skills to help solve their poultry predicament. I love that the story is set atop graph paper, and that algebraic equations scatter the sky, and there's a cute song about counting chicks, and I love the tone of the story, but the final solution for wrangling up the chicks is accidental, requiring no math. Pretty anticlimactic for the general purpose of the story.
Oct 21, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This was an enjoyable story about Peg and her cat. Peg and her cat love to solve problems, and boy do they have a big one to solve when 100 chickens are on the loose. The graph paper background illustrations were eye-catching and the page numbers presented the readers with equations to solve, which was very clever. However, there was very little "real" math or number manipulation to the story. While this takes away from the usefulness of this book, conceptually speaking, it does not take away fr ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, picture, 2013
A girl and her friends are having a picnic and each of them gets the perfect piece of pie. Except they have one tiny piece left and they decide to share it with a tiny chick. When Cat invites the chick out, 100 other chickens escape. Working together to find a creative solution, the girl and her friends get the 100 chickens back into the coop and enjoy their picnic.

Recommended for lower elementary audiences. My only complaint is that it seems a bit unfair that only the tiny chick gets pie after
Liz Todd
Sep 01, 2015 Liz Todd rated it really liked it
Problem solved!
Dec 23, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid
Dec 31, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok
I'll admit I have a weakness for a good chicken story. I have many of them in my library because the story has chicken AND because the story is very good. Sadly this book has a hundred chickens, plenty in fact! It is not a good or entertaining story though. The illustrations are charming, but overall I was disappointed. I thought the girl and her cat would be terrific with so many chickens, but the story itself is weak and not entertaining. I will not be purchasing this one for my library.
Apr 26, 2013 Annie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grade 1-3
This is a very fun book and I think children would really enjoy it. Although it is not completely in the graphic novel format, it does resemble them. Peg and Cat are getting ready to have a picnic on the farm when they run into a big problem. This is a book that shares math, basic concepts and proving that math can be fun. The story shares that every problem has a perfect solution.
I think that this would be a fun way to introduce a math unit to the class. Grades 1-3 would likely enjoy this the m
Jul 17, 2013 Hudsonpubliclibrary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy math or chicken stories
Shelves: book-reviews
This is an adorable book which uses chickens and a little girl's desire to equally (kinda) share pie with her farm friends to spread some math around. Lots of cute chickens to count along the way. I do wonder why only the ONE tiny chicken is selected for pie-sharing while all the others get pushed back into the cage to sleep but the aspect of sharing is still there at least and it could certainly open up discussion with little ones about whether she should have shared with ALL the chickens...
Peg and her cat are about to enjoy a pie picnic when 100 baby chicks get loose! They try a few different methods to gather the chicks and with the help of some wheelbarrows and baby carriages accomplish their task and get back to their pie.

The math concepts (addition, subtraction, grouping) this book attempted to cover fell short for me. The artwork was rendered atop graph paper and with 100 chicks loose across a two page spread the text and pictures became overwhelming.
Jul 31, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it
My house is on a Peg + Cat bender so this was a bit hit.
Aug 21, 2013 Miranda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grace-reads
Peg and Cat love to solve problems, which comes in handy when 100 chickens get loose and run wild just as they're about to have a perfect picnic with a pig. Will the two friends figure out how to solve their problem so that they can enjoy their pie?
The Chicken Problem features super cute illustrations that integrate math symbols and numbers, and a fun story that gets kids counting. My 4-year-old daughter wanted to read it again...right away.
Jan 24, 2013 IrenesBookReviews rated it it was amazing
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!
Jan 06, 2014 Nichole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-read-aloud
I wish there were more books in this hilarious series! The math based illustrations are great: flowers with division signs, infinity shaped clouds, graph paper backgrounds. We loved the show first and then found this great read aloud book to go along with it.
Sandy Brehl
Peg and Cat love to solve problems (although they seem to create some of for themselves). This wacky story of 100 escaped chicks is appealing and loaded with lively language. Math is embedded throughout (graph paper background, one to one correspondence, page numbers as equations, etc. My favorite parts are the end papers and the credits, which include naming each of the 100 chicks who posed for the illustrator- read 'em!
Elizabeth K.
May 24, 2013 Elizabeth K. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-lucy
We are big fans of Peg + Cat, which almost surprises me because it seems like a book for hipsters and I'm usually put off by that. I think it's Cat that hooked me, his expressions are awesome. He seems to have a real cat mentality, despite the fact that he is involved with solving problems. This is a little above my kid's reading level but she is very actively entertained by the illustrations.
April Duclos
Feb 08, 2016 April Duclos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an adorable book which uses chickens and a little girl's desire to equally (kinda) share pie with her farm friends to spread some math around. Lots cute chickens to count along the way. I do wonder why only the ONE tiny chicken is selected for pie-sharing while all the others get pushed back into the cage to sleep but the aspect of sharing is still there at least!
This would be a great read aloud story! It is clever and surprising and witty. Children will love the repetition of the storyline and the crazy antics our main character gets into. All they want is to have a lovely pie with a pig, but it just can’t happen! So many problems get in the way (but it’s a good thing they love to solve problems). At the end, they finally get their pie!
Want a math book that actually makes learning basic math fun? Try "The Chicken Problem", it is silly, has cute characters, and utilizes math in different ways; instead of putting page numbers it adds each page up, it reinforces counting by using it multiple times, and it even uses math symbols, grids, and concepts. Also there are chickens, many, many chickens!
It all begins with pie. Peg wants to have a picnic with pig and cat, but she realizes she has an extra piece of pie. They borrow a chick from the chicken coop to eat the other piece, but then all the chicks get out. It is Chick Chaos.

A cute book with loads of -ing words and a patterned tale. You just can't help but like it because it is just so silly.
May 27, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it
When Peg and her cat have a bit of a picnic, they decide to share a piece of pie with one of the chickens. But they accidentally let out all the chickens. All 100 of them! Now they have to get them back into the chicken coop. All 100 of them! How will they know when they have all the chickens back? Do you think you could help?
Nov 29, 2012 Jodie rated it really liked it
Peg, her cat, and their friend pig have quite a problem on their hands when they try to find one more to share the fourth piece of pie. They use problem solving skills to fix the mess that they end up creating. Page numbers are math problems and you could come up with other ways to use the book for math purposes.
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Topeka & Shawnee ...: The Chicken Problem 1 11 Aug 21, 2013 02:06PM  
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