The Chicken Problem

I’m embarrassed to admit or repeat the things that I have exclaimed at my two vertically-challenged housemates this year.  I had no idea I would ever have to say such things.  I will absolutely not repeat them here… needless to say, the most compromising exclamations most certainly occur at bath time.

The other day Grandma asks me, “Why is Jacob always singing some song called “bum-bum style?”

Turns out Grandma missed last year’s South Korean singing sensation’s single “Gangnam Style.”  Those new pistachio ads must be going right over her head…

I’m almost 100% certain Jake has never actually heard this song… but I will also freely admit that I wasn’t aware of it until some kid clued me in on the playground.  In any event, bum-bum style is one of the most pressing issues currently plaguing our family style.  Particularly, the misdemeanor of “putting one’s bottom in the air”…

And that brings us to our next book, The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson.

In a nutshell: This book is about a little girl named Peg who wants to have a pie picnic with a pig and a cat.  Unfortunately, she has an extra piece of pie and has to find someone to eat it.  In the process, she encounters a chicken problem.  By far, this is my favorite book yet.  It’s freakin’ adorable.  The pictures look hand drawn by a fifth-grader on graph paper.  And it’s a clever story about math.  Math?!  I think Mrs. Haas would approve.

The page numbers allowed me to introduce the concept of equations as they read: 5+1=6; 6+1=7, etc.  There are clever little mathematical signs hidden in the illustrations.  And frankly, we’re into chickens.  Preferably organic, grass-fed, egg-laying chickens, but that’s a previous story.

Families can talk about: What does equals mean?  Why is Nate still counting 1, 2, 11?  And how to keep your cool when you’re totally freaking out.  Most importantly, families can continue flipping back repeatedly to page 8+1=9 to re-quote “Chickens standing on each other’s heads!  Chickens doing the chicken dance!  Chickens bending over and wiggling their bottoms in the air!”

I’d highly recommend this book, but beware, you soon may also be battling The Bum-Bum Problem.


I guarantee that to date, Nate has never seen anything funnier.

Illustration courtesy of The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson.


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