Chicken Frank, Dinosaur! by S.K. Wenger, illustrated by Jojo Ensslin

 Chicken Frank, Dinosaur! by S.K. Wenger, illustrated by Jojo Ensslin. Albert Whitman, 2021. 9780807511411

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: ARC (10/21 pub date)

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? This picture book executed in bright digital art takes on evolution by way of the relationship between chickens and dinosaurs. Frank the chicken attempts to prove that he is a dinosaur by explaining to his barnyard friends that his species has evolved from dinosaurs. He scratches an evolutionary family tree in the dirt, and eventually feels he is proved right by a DNA test. He discovers that he and Ike the alligator have a distant shared ancestor, and his friends and readers are worried when he wants a family reunion with the alligator family!

Graphic panels and speech bubbles make the book read like a graphic novel, and the wry humor of Frank’s thesis is amusing. Three pages of back matter add information on DNA, evolution and the shared traits of dinosaurs, chickens and alligators, as well as a glossary.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I think this book would have worked better as a short graphic novel, even a graphic early reader. I had a hard time following Frank’s logic and his genealogical trees, but maybe dinosaur-obsessed first graders would do better. Certainly not the preschool picture book crowd.

To whom would you recommend this book?  For ages 6-8, possibly as part of a classroom library.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: August 19, 2021

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Picture Book, ARC, Dinosaurs, Evolution, Jojo Ensslin, S. K. Wenger and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.