This first part begins with a short chapter, but as you may notice, the chapters gradually become longer as the story gets going.
To better connect the books in this series, each book will begin with an illustration page and six lines of poetry. This is to set the stage for what is ahead within that book for the reader.
There will be another illustration page with poetry at the end of each book to link it to the next book in the series. It will give some clues as to what will happen in the next book—but not too many!
When you read those poems, please remember I do not consider myself a poet. But you will find a bit of rhythm like with the turning of a jump rope, and there are even some words that rhyme!
Each of the four parts in this book begins with its own title page that uses a word from the Chicken language and also gives its meaning. (The first part just happens to have the same title as the book itself.) The section titles give clues to the story structure.
“Peep!” — “I am happy!” or “I am feeling as good as a chicken can feel!” — This section introduces the main characters and focuses on Gracie’s friendship with Bessie. It also tells about Gracie facing The Big Scary Thing.
“CheeP!” — “This is what I love to do!” or “This is the life for me!” — This section focuses on the garden setting and Gracie’s problems with being made fun of by most of the other chickens when they see her dance (what she loves to do). It also tells about Gracie facing The Bigger Scary Thing.
“Bür-Ä-Bök!” — “Exciting! Great! Wonderful! Fantastic!” — This section focuses on the chickens becoming a family with adventures together. It also tells about Gracie’s growing friendship with Lefty who had once called her names and teased her.
“BuH-HuB?” — “Why?” — This section focuses on how Gracie copes with Lefty moving away and how she comes to accept a new chicken named Pearl as a friend even though she seems to be an outcast and not a good, normal chicken at all. It also ends with a hint that Pearl will play an important part in Gracie finally facing The Biggest Scary Thing in the next book.