Book Review: Dark Shadows, Yes, Another Misadventure by Doreen Cronin

Dark ShadowsBy Awnali Mills

The Chicken Squad is off to the farm to meet their many, many cousins.  But when Sugar meets a strange chicken and then all the jelly beans disappear and Poppy’s shoe disappears, some serious detective work is called for.  Can they track the culprit before time runs out?

The Chicken Squad books are funny books for grades 1-3.  They have short chapters, large writing, and pictures on most pages, so they have the makings of good beginning chapter books.  I hadn’t read the books at the beginning of the series, but thought I would give the new one a try.

So, yeah, these should be read in order.  I was totally confused to start because the book starts with an introduction in the voice of the dog and then switches to an objective point of view.  Then at the end it switches back to the dog.  In the introduction, the dog says he’s going to explain about Poppy’s shoe, but never does.  He also doesn’t introduce himself, the chickens’ mother, or their human, which makes it very confusing when we’re suddenly objective, everyone is talking, and I have no idea who these people are or why I’m now outside of the dog’s head.  Hopefully the first books introduce you to these other characters and Cronin is making the assumption that kids know who everyone is.

The book could also use some better editing, since in one place one of the characters is both asking and answering her own questions.

This is the first Cronin book that I’ve read that I wasn’t enthusiastic about.  Hopefully it’s an aberration, but I won’t be recommending it.

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