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Author: Judyann Ackerman Grant

Illustrator: Sue Truesdell

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Earl and Pearl decide to plant pumpkins. Their chicken watches them digging, planting and watering. They get tired of the chicken being around and keep shooing him away. The kids get upset when some crickets come and start to eat on the leaves of the small pumpkins. The chicken starts clucking and scares the crickets away. Earl and Pearl are so happy they each give the chicken a pumpkin. This is an easy reader for emergent readers.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 5 to 8

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Reading Level: 1.6

Age of Child: Read with and by a 5-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter liked this book. She liked how the children communicated with the chicken, watching their pumpkins grow, and making the animal sounds while I read the words. She also enjoyed how the chicken helped the children, clapping when the chicken helped them.

Adult Reader Reaction: I enjoyed the pictures. The story was a quick read but had a good lesson. This story shows that not all is what it seems. The chicken was just being himself and even though he wasn’t like them, he was able to help them in a situation they couldn’t handle. It reminds kids not to people just because you don’t understand them or they are different than you.

Pros: Simple text, nice pictures and a teaching moment combine in a story that is good for young children.

Cons: Although this is intended to help new readers, there was too much repetition of some like shoo and cluck.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a book for preschoolers and new readers. This isn't the only time they will see/hear the theme of acceptance.


Educational Themes: This is a book meant to help new readers. There is a lot of repetition for vocabulary reinforcement. You can use the book to talk about feelings and the idea that everyone has a talent.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, easy reader, life lessons

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2009

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