Cranky Chicken (Cranky Chicken #1)

Katherine Battersby. S&S/McElderry, $12.99 (116p) ISBN 978-1-5344-6988-4
A curmudgeonly chicken and sprightly worm become unlikely BFFs (“Best Feathered Friends”) in this likable early reader comic in five parts by Battersby (Trouble). With a bold red unibrow and “cranky scratchy feet,” Cranky Chicken opens the story grumbling. Grumpily kicking at a leaf, the fowl unintentionally frees Speedy, a plump, teal worm, stuck underneath. Speedy, whose bubbly demeanor is the antithesis of Cranky’s, sees the chicken as a hero who has vanquished “the evil leaf”—and through cheerful persistence cracks the crabby hen’s tough facade. (“So you like me? Even though I’m cranky?” asks the “Queen of Crank.” “Especially because you’re cranky,” Speedy replies.) United by their prior inexperience with friendship, the pair spend later sections sharing secrets, attempting flight (with Speedy as “wing worm”), and generally learning to support one another. Interspersed are paneled round-ups, including possibilities for why a chicken might really cross the road, a tutorial on how to be cranky, and “famous dirt drawings” of “Speedy: the fastest draw in the West.” In pale jewel tones, Battersby’s simple panels feel breezy and contemporary; the comic companionship she develops between two complete opposites couldn’t be more endearing. Ages 6–9. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/01/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-5344-6990-7
Book - 978-1-5344-6989-1
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