Thursday, August 19, 2021

Review: Cranky Chicken by Katherine Battersby


by Katherine Battersby
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Children's Animal Humor
116 pages
ages 5 to 10


Narwhal and Jelly meet The Bad Guys in this heartwarming, brightly illustrated, and downright hilarious chapter book about what happens when a very cranky chicken is befriended by a very cheerful worm.

Cranky Chicken is, well, cranky. With one cranky eyebrow, cranky eyes, and even cranky, scratchy feet. But then one day, Cranky meets a very friendly worm named Speedy who wants nothing more than to be friends. Young readers will love seeing the mismatched friendship grow over the course of three charming and laugh-out-loud short adventures as Chicken and Speedy become BFFs (Best Feathered Friends) and Speedy shows Chicken how to look on the bright side.

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There are books, which simply make one laugh, giggle, and snort. And this is one of them.

Cranky Chicken is...well, cranky and happy to be that way. When a worm pops up and says 'hi', the chicken tries to ignore it and head the other way. This worm is persistent and eve claims to like the chicken. Actually, it sees the chicken as its hero. An odd friendship begins.

I have a soft spot for chickens, and that's why I wanted to take a look at this one, but it was even better than I'd hoped. The Cranky Chicken is a grumpy-buns, and it's hard not to giggle with all of his grumbling around during the first pages. When he meets the worm, things really get funny. The dialogue between the two is what drives this one forward, and it's very well done. It does lean a bit to the sarcastic side, but it's along lines the age group will easily understand. Actually, I was even grinning through much of it. The two are made for each other, and the worm is impossible not to like.

Beginning readers will enjoy this one quite a bit. The text is kept simple enough for those who have just gotten a handle on their words, and it's short. Very short. The illustrations carry a lot of this one, and much of it flows in a mix of picture book/graphic novel style. But I love that it doesn't talk down to the reader. This one will humor even teens and adults, and still, it's really at the beginning reader level. I can see this one being a favorite.

And here she is...

Katherine Battersby is the critically acclaimed children’s author and illustrator of one chapter book and twelve picture books, including Perfect Pigeons and Squish Rabbit, a CBC Children’s Choice Book. Her picture books have also been shortlisted for numerous Australian awards, including the CBCA Awards for New Illustrator and Book of the Year. Katherine lives in Ottawa, Canada. Visit her at

1 comment:

Heather N. Quinn said...

We love chickens and funny books, too, so this one sounds like a winner. Will look for this one to share with the grandkids. Thanks!