Monday, April 27, 2015

Extraordinary Warren: A Super Chicken (PIX series) by Sarah Dillard

Extraordinary Warren: A Super Chicken (PIX series) by Sarah Dillard

Rating: 4 stars

Picture book + easy reader + graphic novel + chapter book = Extraordinary Warren 

Did that make any sense to you? Let me add a little text: This book is a fun blend of four different genres. There are big pictures from traditional picture books, long yet easy-ish text from easy readers, comic book-style graphics from graphic novels, and multiple chapters from beginner chapter books.

This is a new-ish format that publishers say is perfect for struggling readers who need easier material but want to have a chapter book in their hands like their reading-on-level classmates. While I believe that to be true, it's also really good for those of us with kids at home who read on different levels. Kiefer, who turns four in less than two weeks, checks out chapter books like his big brother and sister. I don't discourage it--any book in his lap is a good one, and I like how he makes his own choices--but this is one book from one series that has so many pictures that he can figure out what's going on without reading a whole lot. And once he does start reading, it'll be even better.

The PIX series--perfect for third kids everywhere! Okay, and some kids for whom reading isn't at the top of their list of things to do.

But enough about the genre of the book. Let me get to the actual book itself:

Meet Warren. Warren is a chick tired of pecking and peeping all the time. He's meant for bigger things! He desires more in life! He wants to stand out from all the ordinary chicks!

Enter Millard. Millard is a rat tired of eating junk. He's meant for bigger feasts! He desires more scrumptious morsels! He wants to dine on the fanciest of things!

The story, as you might have predicted, revolves around the funny dance between Warren, who wants to be special, and Millard, who wants him to think he's special--his special dinner. There are plenty of puns and opportunities to giggle during the six short chapters. Of course the good guy wins, and Warren ends up realizing his own superhero-ness when he saves all of his ordinary friends from the rat who wants to eat them all.

It's a fine book sure to entertain both boys and girls. More important, it is sure to inspire a little more confidence in those kids who want to read so badly--including third kids like Kiefer. And if you like Extraordinary Warren, there are more in the PIX series--Extraordinary Warren Saves the Day is already out, and I've heard there's a book about a big-toothed beaver coming next year...

P.S. Author Sara Dillard has a fantastic story hour (or rainy day) kit to download HERE.

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