The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure (Chicken Squad Series #1)

The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure (Chicken Squad Series #1)


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They might be chicks, but they sure aren’t chicken, and they’re on a mission. And on this, their first (mis)adventure “in this delightful spinoff of the J.J. Tully series” (Kirkus Reviews), 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 chasing bugs. No sir, they’re too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime.

So when Squirrel comes barreling into the chicken coop, the chicks know they’re about to get a case. But with his poor knowledge of shapes (“Big” is not a shape, Squirrel!) and utter fear of whatever it is that’s out there, the panicky Squirrel is NO HELP. Good thing these chicks are professionals.

But even professionals get worried. Especially once they see that round, shiny, green, BIG thing in the yard. What if it’s a UFO full of aliens who want chickens as pets, or worse, dinner? It’s up to the Chicken Squad to crack a case that just might be out of this world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442496774
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Series: Chicken Squad Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 49,951
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
Age Range: 7 - 10 Years

About the Author

Doreen Cronin is the author of many bestselling and New York Times bestselling picture books, including Click, Clack, Quack to School!; Click, Clack, Surprise!; Click, Clack, Ho, Ho, Ho; Click, Clack, Peep; Click, Clack, Boo!; Dooby Dooby Moo; Thump, Quack, Moo: A Whacky Adventure; Bounce; Wiggle; Duck for President; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; Bloom; and the Caldecott Honor Book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type as well as The Chicken Squad series and Cyclone. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at

Kevin Cornell’s secret spy headquarters are located in Philadelphia. He has successfully accomplished several thrilling missions, including illustrating Mustache! and Count The Monkeys by Mac Barnett, the Chicken Squad series by Doreen Cronin, and the Lulu series by Judith Viorst. Leave a coded message for him at

Read an Excerpt

The Chicken Squad

  • Help!! Help!”

    A squirrel came barreling into the chicken coop. He was out of breath and in a panic. “There is something big and scary in the yard!” gasped the squirrel. “It’s after me!”

    “Describe it for me,” said Sugar. She pulled her notepad out of the old shoe.

    “It’s big and scary!!” said the squirrel. “It’s BIG and it’s SCARY!!”

    “Big and scary is not going to cut it,” said Sugar. “Lots of things are big and scary, kid. My mom is big and scary. Try again.”

    “It’s ENORMOUS and FRIGHTENING,” said Squirrel.

    Sugar put her pencil down. “Better. Keep going.”

    “It’s HUGE and TERRIFYING!” cried the squirrel.

    “Much better, Tail,” said Sugar. She checked her notes.

    Big and Scary!

    Enormous and Frightening!

    Huge and Terrifying!

    “Maybe I can help,” said Dirt. She took out her sketchpad. “What shape was it?” asked Dirt.

    “It was . . . big,” answered the squirrel.

    “Big is not a shape,” sighed Sugar. She put her notebook down. “You’ve got a good vocabulary, kid. But your poor shape knowledge means I can’t respect you. You should go now.”

    “Hold on, Sugar,” said Dirt. “Let’s figure this out. Let’s start from the beginning.”

    “It’s ENORMOUS!” snapped the squirrel. He was starting to get grumpy.

    “I thought you said it was big,” said Sugar.

    “Maybe I can give it a try,” said Dirt. “Is it bigger than a house?”

    “Well, no,” said the squirrel.

    “Is it bigger than the chicken coop?” asked Dirt.

    “Well, no,” answered the squirrel.

    “Is it bigger than you?” asked Dirt.

    “I am a brave squirrel!! Of course it’s bigger than me!” said the squirrel. “Why would I be afraid of something if it wasn’t bigger than me?”

    “Lots of people are afraid of things that are smaller than they are,” said Dirt.

    “Well, not me,” said the squirrel. “I’m only afraid of one thing and it’s BIG and SCARY, and it came out of nowhere, and it’s out there waiting for me!”

    “I think we need J. J. on this case,” said Sugar. “He knows the yard like the back of his paw. I’m going to run over there and ask him to join us.”

    “Not the dog!” yelled the squirrel. “Not the DOG! NOT THE DOG!”

    “What’s your beef with the dog, Tail?” asked Sugar.

    “He’s big and scary!” answered the squirrel.

    Sugar had a hunch.

    “Fine, I’m just going to run outside and grab a shovel,” she announced. “I’ll be right back.”

    “Not the shovel!” said Tail. “Not the SHOVEL! NOT THE SHOVEL!”

    “What’s your beef with the shovel?” asked Sugar.

    “It’s big and scary!” said the squirrel.

    “I give up, Tail,” said Sugar. “Sounds to me like you’re afraid of everything in the yard. Now get out of here and call me when you have a real problem.” Sugar made a last note on her pad.

    Big and Scary!

    Enormous and Frightening!

    Huge and Terrifying!

    Never mind!

    Just then a dark figure appeared in the doorway and cast a shadow over Dirt, Sugar, and Tail.

    “Everything okay in here?” asked a deep, gruff voice. Tail’s eyes went wide, his face went pale, and he hit the floor.

  • Customer Reviews

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    The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
    skovach More than 1 year ago
    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 little geometry. This book is an excellent beginning chapter book.  It is easy to follow. Readers are immediately introduced to the characters and quickly drawn into a humorous mystery.  Children will be easily attracted to the ridiculous interactions and situations.  the vocabulary is pretty simple, and there is enough repetition that will make it easy for a struggling reader to catch on.  The pattern and structure of the text lend itself for a perfect read-aloud book.  It would be a story that children would not want to put down, but continue to read or listen to. As a third grade teacher, I see this as a book I want to have in my classroom.  I am always looking for good chapter books - especially ones that my lower readers will be able to pick up and read independently.  This will be a book that my children will read and eagerly share with others. I see this book later becoming a children's animated cartoon.  I think the writing, the characters, as well as the cute illustrations have already allowed me to create an animated cartoon in my mind.
    smg5775 More than 1 year ago
    This is a spin-off of the J. J. Tully series. The chicks now have their own series. The chicks get their first client, a squirrel. I loved how Sugar sees the clues differently than the others. J. J. has to come to the rescue but the chicks are fun as they solve their first mystery despite the clues. Don't let the facts stand in the way. This is a wonderful series for beginning readers.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have another book. I loved it!!!! I think this is great to.