Early Reader: The Chicken Knitters by Cath Jones & Sean Longcroft

The Chicken Knitters is an Early Reader which tells the story of how knitting fan Lilly rescues Farmer Claw’s neglected chickens. With five short chapters and an amusing, original storyline that highlights the plight of battery hens, it’s a great book to help a more independent beginner reader gain reading skills and experience.

The Chicken Knitters - Story Snug

The Story: One day while Lilly is knitting she hears sounds of distress coming from Farmer Claw’s barn. He’s not looking after his chickens properly so Lilly stealthily takes them back to her house. Farmer Claw confronts Lilly so she takes the chickens to school but when he comes after them, Lilly and the chickens come up with a plan to get Farmer Claw out of their lives forever…

We find the combination of chickens and knitting very funny. Farmer Claw’s chickens have lost all their feathers so Lilly starts to knit them warm woolly jumpers. The local school children help her and before long chickens, Ginger, Gladys and Gloria, have picked up knitting needles and started to knit too! Their new knitting skills come in very handy as they set up a trap for Farmer Claw.

The Chicken Knitters is written in an easy to read font and the conditions that battery hens live in is introduced in a humorous but thought provoking way. The story could be used to stimulate individual or class conversations about animal welfare and the concept of battery farming.

Sean Longcroft’s illustrations are quirky and full of humour. We love his knitting chickens although we feel very sorry for them when they are first rescued – they don’t have many feathers at all…

The Chicken Knitters is one of Maverick’s Early Readers which support learning to read in a fun and imaginative way. We’re big fans of the books and you can read more about them in our Maverick Early Readers Band 1 and Maverick Early Readers Band 2 blogposts. What we love about these Early Readers is that they are all interesting and fun to read but the texts have been written in consultation with a reading specialist to ensure that they fit into the UK school curriculum. As a teacher I think that they make learning to read in a fun way, unlike some of the reading schemes that I have used in primary school.

Age Range: 5 +

Author: Cath Jones / Illustrator: Sean Longcroft

Thank you to Maverick Publishing for sending a review copy of The Chicken Knitters. The Chicken Knitters is one of a set of Gold Band books, including fiction and non fiction books, for more independent readers.

10 thoughts on “Early Reader: The Chicken Knitters by Cath Jones & Sean Longcroft

  1. Great to see books with a strong and important message. Great illustrations and will hopefully stimulate some knitters and animal welfare people of the future #ReadWithMe

  2. This sounds a great concept for a story. I’ve always tried to buy free-range eggs and recently I’ve found some sold locally from a farm about 10 miles away, so low food miles too.

    • Yes, the story raises awareness of battery hens in an amusing but non didactic way, it’s great for stimulating discussion about how animals are kept on farms.

  3. Ah I read and reviewed a few of the Maverick Early Readers a while back and I remember this one, such a clever story! I love how creative their Early Readers are, much better than some of the boring stuff you come across at that stage of reading! #readwithme

  4. This definitely sounds more fun than school reading books! My nephew is in Reception, so he might be ready for something like this in a few months.

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