Cranky Chicken

S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry. Sept. 2021. 116p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781534469884.
K-Gr 2–The aptly named Cranky Chicken is grouchy about everything. When she meets Speedy, a spunky worm, the two spark up an unlikely friendship and eventually become BFFs (best feathered friends). Chicken and Speedy learn what it means to be friends and have adventures, and between each chapter section are pun-laden comic panels. The vocabulary is accessible for early readers, although emerging readers may struggle with the hand lettering. The warm pastel coloring and large, full-color, full-page comics, drawn appealingly to look as though they were rendered by a child, are sure to appeal to the intended age range. Themes of friendship and overcoming fears, with a dose of humor, will be relatable.
VERDICT This early reader graphic novel about two unlikely friends will likely be a hit with fans of friendship stories; it’s also a good introduction to graphic novel reading.

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