Bound To Stay Bound

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 Mr. Watson's chickens
 Author: Dapier, Jarrett

 Publisher:  Chronicle Books (2021)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [42] p., col. ill., 28 cm

 BTSB No: 257530 ISBN: 9781452177144
 Ages: 4-7 Grades: K-2

 Subjects:
 Chickens -- Fiction
 Pets -- Fiction
 Gay men -- Fiction
 Humorous fiction

Price: $22.08

Summary:
Mr. Watson loves his three chickens, and every morning he and Mr. Nelson count them; but when they start to multiply, his house and tiny yard are soon overrun, and the noise and mess are driving Mr. Nelson crazy--so the couple set out to find a new home for the chickens.

 Illustrator: Tsurumi, Andrea

Reviews:
   Kirkus Reviews (09/01/21)
   School Library Journal (11/01/21)
   Booklist (10/01/21)
 The Hornbook (00/01/22)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 10/01/2021 Mr. Watson and Mr. Nelson have a big house with a teeny-tiny yard in a big honking city. They also have pets, including a sensible number of chickens. Soon, however, the egg-laying begins, and 3 chickens become 456. And they are everywhere—in the shower, on the breakfast table, inside a pair of boots—and worst of all: they sing. Finally, the men take the noisy chickens to sell at the county fair, but soon calamity strikes and the chickens run amok—until a perfect solution arises. This silly story is fun with nice moments of repetitive and interactive text, but by far the best part about the book is the omnipresence of thoughtful and intentional diverse representation. Mr. Nelson and Mr. Watson are a biracial gay couple with a loving and supportive partnership, and there is a broadly multiethnic supporting cast; but if you squint even further, there is additional detailed layering of diversity in body type, age, mobility, and gender throughout the book, serving as a subtle but constant stream of acceptance and representation. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 11/01/2021 Gr 1–3—Mr. Watson and Mr. Nelson fill their "big, honking house" with love and animals—especially chickens. When their "handful" of chickens quickly balloons to over 400, things become challenging for everyone involved. With chickens in their dinner, in the bathtub, and in Mr. Nelson's boots, they have finally become too much. It is time for the chickens to find a new home. But what will Mr. Watson and Mr. Nelson's house be like once all the chaos is removed? Animal lovers and empty nesters will appreciate the delightful antics within this story. Short, accessible text makes this book enjoyable for young readers, especially as a lap read. Comical illustrations, including cross-sections to show the chaos inside the home, depict the many hundreds of chickens playing instruments and causing all manner of ruckus. Mr. Watson, who is white with brown hair, and Mr. Nelson, who has black hair and presents as Asian, are a couple, interacting in loving ways even when the chickens overstep their bounds and make life difficult for them. Light, pastel shades are used throughout the story, and one picture in particular is reminiscent of Where's Waldo, inviting readers to look more closely to find the missing element. Readers who are patient enough to examine the illustrations carefully will be rewarded with surprising and humorous moments outside the primary narrative. VERDICT This book suits early elementary school-aged readers and is an inclusive and humorous look at what happens when life becomes overwhelming and requires a reset.—Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver P.L. - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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