Book Review and Q and A: The Chicken Problem

The Chicken Problem. It’s a wonderful book and currently read at least once a day at my house. Sometimes I even read it to the little hummingbird.

Emmy award winner Jennifer Oxley (and creative director of Wonder Pets) and playwright Billy Aronson are the creators of this adorable book and I was able to do a little Q and A with them.

Q: What are some of the ways you get your inspiration for your work?

A: Deciding what you want to write or draw is like deciding what you want to wear to school, or eat for dinner, or what music you want to listen to. You just follow your heart and trust your gut.

Q: This is a question from Sydney, 11, who wants to work behind the scenes in television when she grows up. How did you originally start working on kid shows and did you go to school to learn what you do?

A: Since she was a little kid, Jennifer loved to draw, and knew she wanted to work in kids TV. She went to NYU Film School to learn animation, and got a job at SESAME STREET soon after.

Billy went to Yale Drama School to study playwriting. While he was there he started writing children’s plays, and found that he really loved writing for kids.

Q: Besides The Chicken Problem, what are some of your all time favorite children’s books?

A: Jennifer’s favorite children’s books include WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and FOX IN SOCKS. Billy’s are THE GIVING TREE and YERTLE THE TURTLE.

Q: If you could be stuck in an elevator with anyone, who would it be and why?

A: We don’t want to be stuck in an elevator! It’s one of our worst all time nightmares! We actually walk up 5 flights of stairs every day to our office to avoid having to take an elevator!

But if we had to be stuck in an elevator, Joni Mitchell would be cool!

Q: Is there a question you’ve wanted to be asked in an interview that you haven’t been asked before?

A: Why are you so smart?….AND GREAT LOOKING!


This book will definitely grow with the little hummingbird. It’s a story about Peg and Cat. They like pie and have a tiny piece that they give to a tiny chicken.

Then Peg realizes she has a chicken problem on her hands when all the chicks get loose and she has to round them up. I love the counting involved in the book.

Also, instead of page numbers, it has addition…for example…page 5 is 4+1=5. Peg and Cat use their math skills to get the chickens.

The story and flow along with the illustrations will keep your child interested and entertained. It’s best for ages 3 and up.

Jennifer and Billy are currently working on Peg + Cat which is based off of the this book and will be on PBS Kids so keep an eye out for it and make sure to grab a copy of this really adorable book, The Chicken Problem.

Here’s a really cute trailer for the book….


*These views are my own.

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