Two-Headed Chicken

Walker/Candlewick/. Sept. 2022. 208p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781536223217.
Gr 3-6–In this zany graphic novel, a two-headed chicken learns the basics of multiverse travel. One of our hero’s heads is a stand-in for “you,” the reader. The other is a science whiz who creates an Astrocap, a blue-and-red-antennaed beanie that allows its wearer to hop from world to world. Two-Headed Chicken launches across time and space to avoid being devoured by Kernel Antlers, a wily, chicken-hungry moose. However, obstacles and surprises await on every stop of this mission. Two-Headed Chicken travels through many universes—a pencil-drawn one, one where chickens drive cars, one in which our hero is the Mona Lisa, and so on. At each destination, Antlers is still in hungry pursuit. Will Two-Headed Chicken ever find a place to rest? In addition to the main story, this book has mazes, puzzles, activities, and various philosophical asides from a fish with a mustache. There is something fun for every reader! Ellis’s colors are distinct and add much to the excitement. Angleberger writes the first chapter as a humorous primer on the concepts of the multiverse. The entire plot rests on what would be an incomprehensible stew of ideas in another creator’s hands; however, Angleberger explains these ideas in a manner accessible to younger readers. The drawings and page layouts are frenetic, capturing all the excitement of this hilarious journey.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy Aaron Blabey’s “Bad Guys” series and Dav Pilkey’s various universes will love this first book in what is sure to be a beloved series.

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