Lucinda Gifford, Whitney and Britney: Chicken Detectives, Scholastic, November 2020, 32pp., RRP $17.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781743836057
Whitney and Britney are two “marvellous chooks” that readers may have previously become acquainted with in their book Whitney and Britney: Chicken Divas. In this sequel, Whitney and Britney: Chicken Detectives, the singers return to solve a mystery. When fellow performer Dora is devastated because Gloria is missing, Whitney and Britney turn their coop into detective headquarters and set out to “crack this case open”.
Whitney and Britney: Chicken Detectives is a lively and engaging read. Written in rhyming couplets, children will enjoy joining in with the predictable rhymes, although some of the lines might get some eye rolls from adults. Overall, though, it’s a fun introduction to detective stories, with themes of friendship, music, jazz and performance. There’s even a bit of a twist!
With a glittery front cover and bright colourful illustrations, this book, much like the diva chickens, is designed to draw attention. Every page seems to sparkle and there is very little white space. Even the text uses an array of different fonts and sizes. The large cast of animal characters includes every species from a kangaroo to a rhinoceros, and it’s somewhat amusing that the chooks are such good friends with a fox.
Recommended for children from 3-5 years old.
Reviewed by Bec Blakeney