The Chicken Problem

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Full of humor, refreshingly original characters, and math problems that young readers will be clamoring to help solve, The Chicken Problem is an ideal addition to the home or classroom. Left-brained Peg and her right-brained pal, Cat, are enjoying a picnic on the farm with Pig. However, when someone leaves the chicken coop open and the chicks run-a-muck, it's up to Peg and Cat to use their math skills to help solve their poultry predicament.

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Full of humor, refreshingly original characters, and math problems that young readers will be clamoring to help solve, The Chicken Problem is an ideal addition to the home or classroom. Left-brained Peg and her right-brained pal, Cat, are enjoying a picnic on the farm with Pig. However, when someone leaves the chicken coop open and the chicks run-a-muck, it's up to Peg and Cat to use their math skills to help solve their poultry predicament.

Peg likes solving problems. Her cat, Cat, likes helping her. And both of them like pie. One day when they visit Pig at the farm, they happen to have a pie, which Peg divides. But—Big Problem!—there’s one small piece left. So Cat opens the door to the chicken coop and brings out a chickie to eat the pie. Problem solved? Nope. Big Problem! The door’s unlatched, and soon 100 chickens are leaping and somersaulting around the yard. Although it’s billed as a math-concept book, there’s relatively little here about counting (most of the addition comes from counting chickens or from the simple addition used to indicate page numbers). That aspect could have been dropped because this is plenty cute on its own. The effort put into the design—graph paper backgrounds, typewriter lettering, and pages overflowing with tiny, identical chicks—makes for a real eye-catcher. The ebullient pictures match a text that’s as funny as it is fowl. Kids can count away, but mostly they’ll be giggling. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper

About the Author

BILLY ARONSON'S plays have been produced frequently by Ensemble Studio Theatre and published in five volumes of Best American Short Plays. His writing for the musical theater includes the original concept and additional lyrics for Rent, and the book for the Theatreworks USA musical Click Clack Moo. His TV writing includes scripts for MTV's Beavis & Butt-head, Cartoon Network's Courage the Cowardly Dog, Sesame Workshop's Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures, and Nickelodeon's The Wonder Pets!, for which he was head writer and won an Emmy Award. He is presently working with artist Jennifer Oxley to turn Peg and Cat into a television show. Billy lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lisa Vogel and their offspring, Jake and Anna.

JENNIFER OXLEY was born in Hollywood, California, and made her first film at the age of seven. She's the recipient of an Emmy Award for her role as director on Nick Jr.'s Little Bill. Most recently she created the look and animation style for the award-winning television series The Wonder Pets! Jennifer has directed over 15 short films that have been screened at festivals around the world. Her most recent film, The Music Box was just acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for their permanent children's film collection. Jennifer lives and works in New York City as an independent filmmaker and artist. She's currently creating a television series with writer Billy Aronson for PBS Kids.

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