Count Your Chickens is Egg-cellent Entertainment

Count Your Chickens can be considered egg-cellent entertainment for readers young and old.

The best picture books are ones that children ask for again and again, and that don’t bore adults to tears in their endless rereading. Count Your Chickens definitely fits the bill.

This quirky, colourful counting book follows a family of chickens on an outing from a cozy home in a little village to a county fair where they enjoy a day filled with rides, games and delicious treats. The pages are delightfully busy, packed with a crowd of feathered friends who have flocked to the fair by various modes including plane, train, sailboat and skateboard.

The story is told in short, rollicking rhymes that use some interesting words to conjure surprising and amusing images:

Chicken doctors treat the sick. / Slick magicians do a trick. / Chicken punks with funky feathers / strut their stuff in studded leathers.

Adults will enjoy the punny humour such as the banjo-plucking Dixie Chickens and the grasshopper tart-baking contest.

Each two-page spread has tiny, charming details that encourage children to pore over the pictures. It’s fun to pick some specific chicks and follow them on their adventures, or find the lone mouse couple and discover what they’re up to in every scene. At the back of the book there’s a counting quiz (with answers provided on the next page) that asks for the number of chickens doing specific activities. Readers will also enjoy thinking up their own counting challenges.

Artist Lori Joy Smith’s cheerful palette of bright greens, pinks, yellows and blues gives the book a country-kitchen, sunshine-y feel that beautifully echoes the mood and subject of the story.

Count Your Chickens can be considered egg-cellent entertainment for readers young and old.

Count Your Chickens
Jo Ellen Bogart, Illustrations by Lori Joy Smith
Tundra Books

Written By

Kate Watson is the theatre reviewer for The Coast, a freelance writer, and coordinator of the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. She has a keen interest in municipal politics, community-building and twitter. Follow her @DartmouthKate.

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