Doreen Cronin's hilarious tongue-in-beak mystery starring a group of chicken detectives with questionable crime-solving skills. Has an alien spaceship invaded the coop? Readers that fall for these nutty chickens can enjoy them in Cronin's other books, The Trouble with Chickens (one of my favorites) and Diamond Lil.
Determined to travel the globe but unwilling to carry his own bags, Pigsticks recruits his amiable neighbor, Harold the hamster, to join him on a harrowing journey across deserts, through jungles, and up mountains. This book makes me lol.
Eliza Bloom's dad is an inventor of gadgets for spies, and she loves nothing more than following in his footsteps, enlisting her dog Einstein as a lab assistant. The title hints at Eliza's varying success rate. Told with great voice in diary-entry format, this is madcap fun for kids interested in tinkering. Bonus: Eliza models how perseverance pays off!
I love author Elise Broach and I love illustrator Kelly Murphy. This team brought us one of my favorite longer chapter books, NYT bestselling Masterpiece (2008), an art history mystery that blends sleuthing about in museums with a magical friendship between, of all things, a bug with a talent for drawing and a lonely boy. In this series, Broach and Murphy reprise the characters for younger readers.
Children's literature rock stars Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen team up again in this offshoot of the Mercy Watson series and deliver heartwarming tales of a comic match made in heaven: A wannabe cowboy (Leroy) and well-worn horse (Maybelline), who demands no small amount of affection and sweet talk from Leroy.