Charles McGuffin, the lovable hero of Charlie Changes into a Chicken is nine years old. Despite trying to see the bright side of life, he can’t help worrying and things are not about to get an easier!
The first time ‘it’ happens, Charlie is worried about his sick brother and his mum and dad arguing and then before he knows what’s happening there is twitching in his eye, and he feels like somebody has just plugged him into a wall socket – every part of his body fizzes and hums. When hair starts to sprout out if his skin, the room gets a lot bigger and he finds himself with eight legs, he is really worried.
The big question is: why did he change into a spider and will it happen again?
Understandably, his mum finds it impossible to believe that Charlie temporarily turned into a spider but his friends Moshan, Wogan and Flora are on board and set out on a quest to find out what the story is. However, they need to act quickly as Charlie is in the school play in a few weeks time and what happens if he turns into a spider then?
Everything goes back to normal until Mr Wind starts to get angry at the class and the someone throws a paper aeroplane at Charlie’s head and then the fizzing and whizzing start up again, but this time when he flees from the room, he’s covered in feathers…
Author Sam Copeland is an hilarious and very present narrator, providing enlightening and amusing anecdotes about elements of the story that he thinks will tickle kids fancy. There are of course lots of references to bums – apparently spiders have eight of them too and farts: which animals do, and which don’t? You’ll have to read it to find out.
This brilliantly illustrated, funny and accessible book is perfect for 8+ readers who will have a lot of laughs imagining what would happen at their school if kids started changing into animals. On the serious side of things, it deals with anxiety and worry, and loyalty.
If you have a reluctant reader this should tempt them and the good news is, it’s the first of three books.Incidentally you’ll have no trouble finding it in the bookshop or library as it has a fabulous gold sparkly cover.
Sam Copeland is from Manchester and now lives in London with two smelly cats, three smelly children and one relatively clean-smelling wife. He works as a chicken whisperer, travelling the world using his unique gift to tame wild chickens. Charlie Changes Into a Chicken is his first book. He has threatened to write more. He is also a literary agent and director at Rogers, Coleridge and White.