The Secret Chicken Club by George Shannon, Illus. by Deborah Zemke.
I brought this to read at a school visit; all I did was say the title and the 2nd and 3rd graders started giggling.
The Plot: Debbie is a dancing cow. The chickens have started a club -- a secret chicken club. So Debbie decides to start her own club, the secret cow club. Problem is, Debbie's the only cow on the farm. Will she ever be able to join the secret club?
The Good: When this came in at the branch, it was passed around before even making it out of the office because we all loved it. And the 2nd and 3rd graders adored it, also. So this works on any level: reading it one on one with a kid; the kid reading it; or as a read a loud.
It's about secret clubs -- and most people who have had anything to do with elementary school kids knows that secret clubs can exist and can be very hurtful to those who aren't allowed it. So I really liked the device, that Debbie wanted to be in the club, & the things that the chickens wanted her to do to gain entry (clucking, not so hard. lay an egg? a little bit of a problem for a cow. )
This book is very, very funny, with a lot of word play that kids like. When someone gets told the secret password, they say "oh." And then think that's the password.
When Debbie (the cow) laughs, she laughs so hard that milk comes out her nose.
Some of the chickens want to eat chicken noodle soup, thinking it will make them smarter, that its soup for your "chicken noodle." Then they get told it isn't. If tomato soup is made out of tomatoes.... At this point, even tho it was the first time the kids had heard the story, they all were shouting out the answers to what bean soup and tomato soup is made from. I love when kids get this type of thing on their own and feel free to just jump right in. It was a lot of fun.