Story of Pie! The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley
THIS IS PEG.
SHE LOVES SOLVING PROBLEMS. SHE ALSO LOVES PIE.
THIS IS CAT.
HE LOVES HELPING PEG SOLVE PROBLEMS. HE LOVES PIE, TOO.
Peg and Cat are all set for a picnic. They have a guest–Pig–and they have pie. Perfect!
But then the persnickety Peg notices that there is a tiny slice of pie left in the pan! Peg apparently doesn’t like a division problem that has a remainder.
"BIG PROBLEM!" SAID PEG.
PEG FELT SORRY FOR THAT POOR PIECE OF PIE JUST SITTING THERE, ALL ALONE, WITH NOBODY TO EAT IT. NOOOOOBODY!
Cat has a solution to this problem. He fetches a tiny chick from the coop and pairs him with the puny piece of pie. Everything comes out even. Perfect! NOW can they eat their pie?
But suddenly there’s a new factor in their math. The chickens are multiplying! Who can eat pie with poultry all over the picnic cloth and no more pie to proffer?
Apparently the coop was left unlatched! The three would-be picnickers begin chicken-chasing, but they only manage to reduce the numbers of loose chickens by a factor of ten. To sum it up, the three are stumped by this problem.
THERE ARE CHICKENS DASHING, CHICKENS SPLASHING, SKIPPING, FLIPPING....”
The chickens are even getting down with the Chicken Dance! Pig is freaked out, Peg is perplexed, but Cat is calculating, and he soon hits upon the ultimate solution in Jennifer Oxley’s The Chicken Problem (Random House, 2012). Rounding up rather than rounding off, he figures out a way to reduce the chicken population back to one and make the pie come out even for the picnickers after all. Chickens are the current comic favorites of picture book characters, and artist Billy Aronsen’s multiplying chickens are the stars of this show. There is a bit of math in the page numbering and also here and there throughout the text, but it’s the poultry who are prime in this outing.