October 27, 2014

Extraordinary Warren Saves the Day by Sarah Dillard

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:46 am by suebe2

Extraordinary Warren Saves the Day
by Sarah Dillard

Life is changing on the farm as Coach Stanley works Warren and the other chicks at a variety of stretches and exercises.  Then there’s singing, nap time and hide-and-seek. Warren also has a new friend.  If you’ve read Extraordinary Warren, you may recall that at the end of the story Egg hatches.  Egg is now out and about with Warren, learning all he can and asking tons of questions.

Eventually, Egg’s curiosity gets him in trouble when this little chicken crosses the road, encounters a grumpy cow and then gets lost in a corn field.  Warren realizes that his friend is missing when Egg is the only chick he can’t find during hide-and-seek.  He sets of to find his friend and get them both home.

If you aren’t familiar with Dillard’s Warren books, these early readers are part graphic novel and part standard text.  She has a playful approach to the graphic novel element.  Some panels are neatly boxed in while others run free across the page.  When one of the chicks is hanging upside, his speech is upside down as well.

Willard the Rat makes another appearance although he’s slightly less villainous than in Extraordinary Warren.  Yes, he’s snarky.  No, he can’t entirely be trusted.  But guess who sets out to find Warren and Egg when they’ve been gone to long?  Sure, the other chicks organize a search party but it is nothing like the search parties that actually find people . . . or chicks.  Think lights and music for a start. The humor in this book is light and silly.

Warren and Egg have a big brother/little brother kind of relationship that is sure to appeal to young readers.  The comic book style illustrations provide plenty of clues to what is happening in the story if a reader stalls out on a particular word.

Share this book with the young dreamer in your life who is just learning to read independently.


August 11, 2014

Extraordinary Warren: A Super Chicken by Sarah Dillard

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:47 am by suebe2

Extraordinary Warren:
A Super Chicken
by Sarah Dillard

Warren wasn’t the only chicken on the farm.  In fact, he was one of many.  The chickens spent all day, every day, pecking for chicken feed.

The tedium was more than Warren could stand.  It had to stop.

He wasn’t sure why it bored him silly when all of the other chickens were happy, but Warren understood one thing.  He was no ordinary chicken.

Warren is off exploring the farm when he comes across Willard monologuing about special chicken.  Unfortunately, Willard is a rat so when he says “special chicken” he means something completely different from what Warren.

Willard is looking for an amazing meal.  Thanks to Warren, he spots the other chickens.

Warren starts thinking of himself as a special chicken, a super chicken . . . Chicken Supreme!   But will he be super enough to save the day?

From the cover, you might assume this is a picture book but it is a graphic novel hybrid — approximately 64 pages to a picture book’s 32.  I say hybrid because the book combines blocks of text with the cells (art and text blocks) of the graphic novel.  The illustrations are color and simply but also surprisingly expressive.  There will be no doubt in the young reader’s mind that Willard is devious or when Warren is conflicted.

Dillard uses the graphic novel format to its fullest to explore Warren’s world, his developing friendship with egg, and what it means to be a super chicken.

At almost 64 pages, the book might be long for your picture book fan but it is an excellent choice for a reluctant reader who dreads large blocks of text.  Yes, there are blocks of text but they are not overwhelming.  It would be a fun shared read with you reading one spread and your young reader taking the other.

If you have a young book lover who is drawn to the graphic novel format, this is a perfect compromise.  Written for ages 6-9, it is serious and has tension but they are age appropriate and won’t overwhelm a younger reader.

Share this one for an eggstraordinaryly quirky super hero and his up-and-coming sidekick.


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