cover image Muhammad Ali Was a Chicken? (Wait! What?)

Muhammad Ali Was a Chicken? (Wait! What?)

Dan Gutman, illus. by Allison Steinfeld. Norton, $16.95 (112p) ISBN 978-1-324-01560-4

In an introduction and 12 chapters, Gutman brings his signature humor to this narrative nonfiction biography of Muhammad Ali, “one of the most important sports figures in history.” Organized as a play-like dialogue between siblings Paige and Turner, both cued as Black, the accessible profile explores the titular question and covers Ali’s origins and career; it’s also packed with plenty of quotes from the boxer and reactions from the narrators (“Of course, dreams won’t make you the champion of anything. You’ve got to work”). Steinfeld contributes fine-lined, dot-eyed b&w illustrations, punctuated by speech bubbles, as well as attractive infographics such as “18 Famous People Who Changed Their Names.” This well-designed series starter will keep the attention of both fans of Ali and those who are new to nonfiction. Ages 6–8. (May)