Count Your Chickens

illus. by Lori Joy Smith. 32p. Tundra. Feb. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781770497924.
PreS-Gr 2—Through rhyming verse, readers follow a family of chickens going to the county fair, with opportunities to count the many chickens on every page. Strolling through the main street, they encounter "chicken grannies knitting socks./Chicken chicks with chicken pox." Things get more fanciful with "chicken pilots flying planes./Chicken engineers on trains." At the fair, readers meet an array of amusing chickens, from pastry cooks and princesses to clowns and a pair of "moody chickens" singing the blues (costumed in black sunglasses and black fedoras, evoking the Blues Brothers). There's even a "chicken punk" sporting "funky feathers" and "studded leathers." Smith's pencil and digital art invites young viewers to investigate the pastel-hued, detailed images. Reminiscent of the work of Richard Scarry, the spreads will encourage children to go back and pore over the illustrations, not only to count the chickens but also to track the many characters—including a pair of mice who appear on every page. A key at the end of the book reveals how many chickens are depicted on each spread.
VERDICT An enjoyable concept and seek-and-find title that's ideal for springtime sharing and reinforcement of counting skills.

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