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The First Misadventure: 03/27/22
The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin and Kevin Cornell (Illustrations) is the start of the Chicken Squad series. Narrated by J.J. the retired rescue dog, it's the tale of four chicks who solve mysteries. Their first client is a squirrel who had a close encounter of the third kind.
This series written for elementary school aged readers is a good early introduction to the structure and tropes of mystery and detective fiction. The short, heavily illustrated chapters make this book perfect for reading aloud — either at school or before bed.
The book builds is mystery around the experiences and perceptions of the characters. Since they are all small creatures (minus J.J. who is larger, older, and more world wise), the things the describe are done so creatively. The fun of this first book is figuring out what exactly the thing scaring the squirrel is. Even after it's been identified, it's not necessarily properly done so. The illustrations and J.J.'s confirmation later will gives a humorous counterpoint to what the chickens and squirrel have collectively agreed they've seen.
The second book is The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken (2014).