Chicken Books for Young Readers
Check out These Chicken Books for Kids!
Reading Time: 4 minutes
By Tove Danovich
Anyone whose kids balk at cleaning their rooms but run to collect eggs first thing in the morning knows that poultry and children go together like eggs and toast. Many kids get their start in 4-H showing poultry, and last year youth entries at the Ohio National Poultry Show filled a sizable portion of the judging area. We all know that reading is an important skill and the easiest way to get little ones to pick up a book is to find one that suits their interests. So, whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, or otherwise to a young chicken lover here are some great picture and middle-grade chicken books that will keep them wanting to turn the pages.
Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood
Ten-year-old Prairie Evers has been homeschooled in North Carolina her whole life when her parents decide to move back to her mother’s hometown in Upstate New York. Nothing feels right about this new place until Prairie convinces her parents to buy her 18 chickens so she can start an egg business. Prairie learns how to care for chicks, sell eggs, and how to make and be a friend in this wonderful middle-grade novel perfect for tween readers. While the chickens bring some levity to the book, the story also deals with more serious issues when Prairie finds out her new best friend is having trouble at home. The book deals with these themes in a way that’s still suitable for young readers.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
When 12-year-old Sophie Brown moves from Los Angeles to a small farm with a run-down chicken coop, she has no idea just how extraordinary chickens can be. Her white Leghorn has telekinetic powers and her Barred Rock’s stripes help her camouflage with her surroundings so thoroughly the chicken disappears! It’s as if Roald Dahl decided to write a book about chickens. Told through a series of letters, the book will teach young readers chicken care basics, anatomy, and even a little bit of math but it’s so much fun the learning sneaks right by you! The chickens and this book are magic. It’s filled with illustrations of grumpy and unusual chickens that you won’t be able to help but smile at. This book and its sequel Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken? will make any young reader believe that their chickens might just have special powers too.
Chicken Talk, written by Patricia MacLachlan. Illustrations by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
Siblings Willie and Belle live on a farm with their parents where they keep a rooster and 11 hens. It’s just chicken chores as normal until Willie and his sister begin to find strange notes scratched in the dirt — all of which seem to be written by the chickens! It’s a lovely picture book with sweet illustrations and a fun story that is sure to appeal to the youngest chicken tenders you know. It’s easy to imagine finding a shady spot near the chicken coop and reading this book to some little ones, your own birds chattering away happily nearby.
Where, Oh Where, is Rosie’s Chick by Pat Hutchins
This is the perfect chicken book to read out loud to any little one who wants to snuggle over your shoulder and look at the photos. In this book, Rosie the chicken has just hatched a chick but can’t seem to find where her baby has gone. When she looks underneath the henhouse, the chick is on top of it. When Rosie looks out across the fields, we see her chick toddling behind her, out of sight. It’s the kind of book that’s impossible to read without yelling, “Your chick is right there!” It’s a sweet picture book you’ll want to gift or add to your collection. And, if it’s a big hit, this book is actually the sequel to Rosie’s Walk, published in 1967, where Rosie goes for a stroll, unaware that a wily fox is trying to eat her!
Chick-O-Saurus Rex by Lenore and Daniel Jennewein
When Little Chick begins researching his family tree, he makes a big discovery. He hears a legend that the bones of an ancient ancestor might be hiding somewhere on this very farm! Little chick and his father begin excavation and stumble onto an exciting discovery: chickens are related to the Tyrannosaurus Rex. (Which is true! Chickens and ostriches are the closest living relatives to the T. Rex.) The perfect book for any dinosaur-loving kid with poultry. Who wouldn’t want to discover there are fluffy dinosaurs living in their backyard!
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
What starts out as a story about papa chicken trying to read his chick some classic fairy tales as a bedtime story turns into a hilarious series of interruptions as the chick can’t help but keep guessing what’s going to happen on the next page. If you have or know a little one who likes to chime in at storytime, this is the perfect book to read together. This book won a Caldecott Honor, the most prestigious prize in children’s literature, and its sequel Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise is just as funny.
Originally published in the December 2020/January 2021 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly vetted for accuracy.