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The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure (A Chicken Squad Adventure #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,139 Ratings  ·  224 Reviews
They're darling. They're daring. They know their shapes! They're chicks on a mission, and on this, their first (mis)adventure, the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition.

Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasin
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Aug 28, 2014 Rick rated it it was ok
A list of things I don't understand:
1. Why do the chickens have two names? This did nothing but confuse me.
2. Naming one chicken Sugar and another Sweetie doesn't help me keep them straight. To be honest, I had a hard time identifying the chickens throughout the entire book.
3. Why are the chickens attributed a "specialty" if it doesn't tie in with the plot? I get that this is going to be a series, but introducing a specialty without giving it a place in the story just feels like bad expository w
Nov 02, 2015 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-fiction
These chicks are something! Dirt, Sweetie, Poppy and Sugar love to solve mysteries. This time is not the exception. When Tail, the squirrel, comes asking for help, he knows he is in the right place. Unfortunately he is not really good at providing clues about what he saw. Big and scary? Not really helpful. Enormous and frightening? Still useless... This lack of progress would have discouraged anyone, but not the chicken squad.

We loved this book. We loved it because the story is hilarious. We lov
Chicken Squad are on their first case, when Squirrel comes to the chicken coop with some serious panic. And the Squirrel doesn't know the shapes well, so the Chicken Squad has even more difficulties, guessing the actual problem. But, they are still brave and start working together.

I loved the will definitely attract the little ones. Although it's not an interesting thriller, it will be good if this is read aloud in children's book clubs. It is educational and the kids will like the mys
Nov 20, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin
This is such a fun book. I am glad the humor is still there in a book for older readers. I love the fancy words, the mystery, and the way the chicken squad works together. They talk and act just like a group of third graders. My favorite character has to be the dog, but they are so likable. Don’t expect a great piece of literature out of this book, but it is a fun story; kids will love it, and will bug their parents for more. Really, is there anymore you could a
Brenda Kahn
Apr 09, 2014 Brenda Kahn rated it really liked it
The chicks from the J.J. Tully mysteries get their own story in this adorable early chapter book spin-off. J.J. Tully makes an appearance as well.
Dec 29, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
Great fun to read aloud with my six year old mystery-loving granddaughter. We laughed our way through it!
Read for Librarian Book Group

Amusing beginning reader.
Bethany Sutherland
The Chicken Squad is a book about four chick detectives: Sugar, Poppy, Sweetie, and Dirt. The chicks have to solve the mystery of the squirrel, Tail, and what in the yard he was so afraid of. Tail comes into the chicken coop after being chased by J.J. Tully, the dog, to ask the chicks for help. Sugar makes Tail describe what scared him and used pictures and context clues to try to figure out what it was. Tail faints a couple of times at the different drawings the chicks drawl, but finally is abl ...more
Tail, the squirrel, ran into the chicken coup where the little chickens lived. He was in a huge shock and so scared from seeing something outside. He asks the chicks if they could help him figure out what he saw, and get rid of it. Tail could not describe the object because he was so in shock. So Poppy, Sweetie, Sugar, and Dirt, the four chicks, were determined to help Tail out. The had him describe what the thing was that scared him. After many tries they got that the thing was enormous, about ...more
Shumin Wu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori Redman
The Chicken Squad consists of four chicks: Poppy, Dirt, Sugar, and Sweetie. You may remember them from Doreen Cronin's chapter book series of the J.J. Tully mysteries (such as "Trouble with Chickens"). J.J. Tully is the dog that lives in the backyard of a woman named Barbara. He watches over the chickens in the coop- the four chicks and their mother, Moosh. One day, a squirrel named Tail comes running into the coop alerting the chicks to the presence of something BIG and SCARY! Tail is not very ...more
Oct 01, 2014 Kim added it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book is for 1st to 4th grade. These short, yellow, and fuzzy chicks are quite the little problem solvers. When the brave squirrel, Tail, is frightened by something big and scary in the yard it is up to these 4 chicks to discover what it is and save everyone.

Some activities to go with this book:
1) Why did the chicks say that they couldn't help the squirrel when he said there was something big and scary in the yard?
2)Why did the chicks want to know the shape of whatever scared squirrel?
Sara Kovach
May 01, 2014 Sara Kovach rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
What a fun, creative book. This is a spin-off from Cronin's J.J. Tulley Mysteries. The chickens now have their own stories, although J.J. is still a integral part - retired, and their protector.

Doreen Cronin is very well known for her silly animal stories - many of which I have in my classroom library. In The Chicken Squad, Cronin once again has managed to pack so much within a story. There is humor, a familiar dog, a "big and scary" mystery, very charismatic and personable chicks, and even a li
Delightfully slapstick in nature The Chicken Squad builds on the tiny, comical characters who first appear in The Trouble with Chickens, the original J.J. Tully mystery. A perfect graduation from her brilliant picture books, these short, easy chapter books by Doreen Cronin (of Click, Clack, Moo fame) provide an ideal bridge for young readers.

J.J. Tully, the retired police dog from Trouble with Chickens introduces the story and makes a short--but pivotal--appearance in the climax of the Chicken S
Lila kucharski
this book is so funny and it is a really good book
Jan 23, 2015 Betsy rated it really liked it
Reviewed first on Redeemed Reader

Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Sweetie, and Poppy, a brave (but very silly) group of amateur sleuths on the case of the Big and Scary object that Tail (the squirrel) has spotted in their yard. J. J. Tully, retired search-and-rescue dog, is napping quietly in the corner, hoping the chicks can keep themselves out of trouble for the afternoon… Super sleuthing chicks are a force with which to reckon, however, and the Chicken Squad is on the case: note-taking, d
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
May 17, 2014 Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Cronin, Doreen, and Kevin Cornell. The Chicken Squad. Atheneum Books. 2014. Print.
This review is also posted on Get Kids to Read:

The Chicken Squad is the first book in an early chapter book sequence by Doreen Cronin. Cronin who had previously written the very popular Click Clack Moo and Diary of a Worm books. The Chicken Squad is the story of four chickens a dog and a squirrel on a farm. The story reads similar to the pigeon series by Mo Willems. Children who ha
Sep 21, 2016 Kristen rated it liked it
This was really cute. I love that the chicks all have their own personalities and that they are all quite hilarious. It's adorable that J.J. the dog is tasked with keeping them in line, and yet he lets them believe in their UFO mystery. A fun story for young readers.
Oct 17, 2016 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Shelves: preschool-read
Andrew's review: "I would give it six stars. I wish that there could be six stars on the website. I liked the book and there could be about six stars of the planets for one of the... I liked when the squirrel came along and when the chickens said 'don't be scared of J.J. It's only a dog.' Don't be scared of any dogs. I also liked when they licked each other and rolled in the grass to get camouflaged."

Lindsay's review: Andrew got a little distracted by the stars aspect of reviewing this book. Thi
Oct 22, 2014 Debrarian rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of detective stories & silliness (eg. Hank the Cowdog, Wayside School).
This hard-boiled detective novel -- featuring worldly baby chicks, an easily overwrought squirrel with a big vocabulary but poor shape skills, a mysterious (and big and scary!) shape, and a good ol' dog -- cracked me up. First-rate chapter book. Vocabulary, plot and character build cleverly but with a straightforward progression - an early reader will find both success and delight here.

My only quibble (bringing it down to 4.5 stars in my book) is that I didn't love the illustrations. But they u
Aug 06, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
Doreen Cronin, best known for Click, Clack, Moo and Diary of a Worm, is bringing readers a new intermediate chapter book series. The first book in this humorous series is The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure. Four chick siblings take it upon themselves to solve mysteries around the farmyard. Their first case is to figure out what big, scary thing is terrifying the resident squirrel. Of course, they might need a little bit of help from J. J. Tully, the dog that watches out for them. But that ...more
Jeff Harris
Jul 07, 2016 Jeff Harris rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
I was already a fan of Doreen Cronin's work due to her amazing and hilarious picture books that I've shared with students in my library. Therefore, I am quite glad that her chapter books seem to be very good as well! This book is a VERY funny tale of four chicks who are confronted by a very frightened squirrel who has had a close encounter with a very strange new arrival in the backyard that these animals call home. What is this object, might you ask? Read this book to find out! This is up for M ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, owned-read
My first graders LOVED this book! They never guessed what the "BIG" and "SCARY" thing was, but it was fun listening to their guesses and how they changed as more clues were revealed. Too cute!
An irreverent reversal and send-up of Chicken Little, this story is both clever and foolish. Both the panicky squirrel and the super-calm chicks get into a spot of bother but it all comes out right in the end. The misadventure turns mainly on the seriousness of the protagonists and the revelation of the “big and scary” danger. The whole bit is wrapped up by an amused, wise dog and a very patient mother hen and proves that when intelligence is brought to bear on stupidity, intelligence can be the ...more
Tail, a squirrel, with a good vocabulary, questionable color choices, and iffy shape skills, is afraid of a big, round, green, scary object. Tail enlists the help of chickens, Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie to figure out what it is. Of course, J.J. Tully, a retired search-and-rescue dog is supposed to be watching them.

Following the clues given by Tail, the reader tries to guess what is the big, green, scary object. Of course, what's scary to farm yard animals, may not be so scary to us, or eve
Kelsey McLane
I can definitely understand why some people didn't like this story. It was almost over-the-top ridiculous. Not only are there three different animals you must keep track of, the chickens all have 2 names, their mother is in and out of the story giving little plot to having her included. The squirrel might be this book's redeeming quality. The squirrel instantly reminds you of Ice Age, with its skittishness and looney ideas.

Thinking he has found a UFO, the chickens are on the case. For the clues
Sep 01, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
In a delightful story where a squirrel is learning his shapes, four chickens are introduced to the reader along with their special powers. The dog and the owner of the house are also introduced as this will be the site of many future adventures with the Chicken Squad. This adventure deals with a squirrel who is scared of a ??? The chicken squad solves and defeats what they think is a UFO after chickens. In reality we find out the UFO is a green barbecque that is cooking hot dogs. Enjoyable and e ...more
Dec 23, 2015 Bruce rated it liked it
A hysterical squirrel, a sleeping watch dog, and something big and scary in the yard, this is a job for Chicken Squad! Putting their detective skills, as well as their extensive knowledge of colors and shapes to work, chicks Dirt, Sweetie, Poppy, and Sugar are on the case. Their mission: find out what this big, scary thing is and neutralize its terroristic threat to their home, family and friends!

Cronin’s chapter book is a refreshingly silly story, appropriately and plentifully illustrated with
Ah, The Chicken Squad. A hard-boiled noir mystery featuring a gang of untouchables, except they're juvenile chickens. In this, their first misadventure, a Big and Scary thing is reported to the chicken coop by a squirrel with anxiety problems who is prone to fainting.
AJ's giggles during this book are half the fun of reading it. Anytime we have to stop reading to collect ourselves (yeah, that moment when they drag the shoe in disguise out the yard, just in case?) is an automatic 5-star rating in
Jul 03, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
This was a fun, easy read for kids who are just starting chapter books. It's funny, with charming black and white illustrations and interesting characters. It's sarcastic (though not at all in a mean way) and there are enough wry little comments that parents who read along will be entertained. The four chicks are actually detectives and become involved in a case when a strange something comes into their yard. Their keen observations and investigative powers solve the case - with some help!
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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...

Other Books in the Series

A Chicken Squad Adventure (2 books)
  • The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Misadventure (Chicken Squad Adventure, #2)

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