I still remember when my daughter and I read our first graphic novel in Jennifer and Matthew Holmes’ BABYMOUSE series six or seven years ago. We read all of them together, passed them back and forth, and laughed like crazy. There are just a handful of other graphic novels for this age group that share that kind of specialness (Jarrett Krosoczka’s LUNCH LADY series among them) so I was thrilled to see a charming newcomer – Sarah Dillard’s spunky EXTRAORDINARY WARREN: A SUPER CHICKEN.
I’d seen some of Sarah’s early art for this book at a retreat we both attended a while back, so when she asked if I’d like to review the final version, I jumped at the chance, and I’m so glad that I did.
Warren is a chicken who’s tired of the same old clucking and scratching and pecking. But none of the other chickens understand why. (As a kid who grew up in a small town, boy could I relate to this!). So he sets off to find something more, and like so many of us small-town kids with big dreams, finds himself in a bit of danger, even though he doesn’t realize right away that the hungry, double-speaking rat he meets intends to have chicken for dinner. (“Chicken SUPREME!” Warren says proudly.) The young chicken also finds a mysterious egg, too, and along the way discovers that he really is an extraordinary friend.
I love the way this book balances the playful art of a picture book with the character development and story arc of a chapter book. Its bright illustrations blended with just the right amount of text will have great appeal for kids who still love picture books but also want to start tackling chapters. Hand it to your BABYMOUSE and LUNCH LADY fans who need another great character to love.
(Especially since I just saw some good news for Warren – a second book in the series, coming in October!)
I support independent bookstores. If you’d also like to see your locally owned book shops stay in your community, please consider asking for Warren at your local indie!