Check It Out: Take chance to get your chicken dance on




Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at

All right, check it out, readers, get ready to flap your arms and wiggle your back end because today is National Dance Like a Chicken Day — cock-a-doodle-doo! The chicken dance has become something of a cultural phenomenon in the Western world, delighting young and old alike. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, all you have to do is search for “chicken dance” on YouTube and within minutes you’ll know the song and the moves. Why it’s so popular, I don’t know, but there is something strangely appealing about the simple tune and the poultry-esque choreography. Just like the Hokey Pokey, anyone can sing it, anyone can do it, so maybe that’s what it’s all about.

To get you in the mood for National Dance Like a Chicken Day, here is a short list of dance titles, chicken titles, and dancing chicken titles. And, oh yeah, it’s Mother’s Day, too, so I’m also throwing in a couple of mom-related titles. Happy reading!

• “The Cranky Ballerina,” by Elise Gravel: Maybe dancing isn’t your thing. Maybe your little one feels the same way every time you take her to ballet class. Read this cute story about Ada — she hates ballet too — and find out how Ada figures out what does make her happy. Tutus are soooo annoying.

• “Dance,” by Matthew Van Fleet: Not all chickens are born knowing how to dance. In this interactive picture book, a baby chick learns how to shake his stuff from an unlikely group of friends. Before long he’ll be dancing the Hippoppta Hula and the Gator Mashed Patater.

• “Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs: Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes,” by Signe Langford: Chicken tenderers know that happy hens lay happy eggs. I’m not sure if dance instruction is included in this eggs-cellent book, but you’ll probably do your own happy dance as soon as your cluckers go into egg-production mode.

• “Higgledy Piggledy: The Hen Who Loved to Dance,” by Francesca Simon: I suppose that skeptics might say, “What’s so great about a dancing chicken? It’s eggs we want, not dance contests.” Well, OK, cranky pants. I suggest you read this gosh darn adorable picture book and find out how Higgledy Piggledy and her dancing ways save the day.

• “Instant Mom,” by Nia Vardalos: Fans of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” will instantly identify Vardalos as the actress who played Toula Portokalos, the film’s main character. To learn something about her real life, read her funny and poignant story about adopting a child.

• “Mom & Me & Mom,” by Maya Angelou: Angelou’s story about being sent to live with her grandparents when she was just three years old, and then reuniting with her mom a decade later is a powerful read, proving just how complicated a mother/child relationship can be.

• “Showing Poultry: A Complete Guide to Exhibiting Your Birds,” by Glenn Drowns: Once your chickens have learned how to dance, get ready to show them off to the world! (Or maybe just to your family at first — they tend to be more understanding.) Seriously though, if you have an interest not only in raising poultry but in exhibiting it as well, get your wings, er, hands on this informative guide. County fairs — look out!

• “The Sky is Falling!” by Mark Teague: Finally, the story of what really happened when an acorn fell on Chicken Little’s head. Here’s a hint: dance frenzy! Next stop for Chicken Little? I predict a spot on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at