Charlie Changes into a Chicken

Publisher: Puffin

Review

Charlie McGuffin seems like a normal school boy but, like we all do, he has his worries. Except something strange happens to Charlie at random times for no apparent reason: he changes into animals.

Charlie feels quite lonely because at first, no one else seems to believe him that this is going on, let alone tries to understand why. Over the course of the book, Charlie aims to overcome his difficulties and worries before the school play to avoid any major embarrassments.

As soon as Charlie tells his friends, they want to try everything they can to help him find out why it happens, proving that anything is possible with a little help from your friends.

Told from Charlie’s point of view, there is a dark side to the seemingly comedic nature of this book as you realise that Charlie’s animal habits are a cause of a bigger problem. This is a book that isn’t what you expect, cleverly portraying ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, and providing some sound advice throughout.

A child might be able to see elements of themselves in Charlie, and the book includes some references to anecdotal phrases centred around anxiety, without dwelling on the negatives. This is a brilliant and positive debut from Sam Copeland about an often tricky topic.

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