Let's Get Cracking!

Let's Get Cracking! illus. by Cyndi Marko. 80p. (Kung Pow Chicken Series: Bk. 1). Scholastic/Branches. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780545610629; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780545610612; ebk. $4.99. ISBN 9780545613910.
Gr 1–3—Gordon Blue and his younger egg brother, Benedict, gain superpowers after taking an accidental dive into giant vat of toxic sludge while visiting Uncle Quack's laboratory. Gordon, aka Kung Pow Chicken, and Benedict get an opportunity to put their powers to the test. A crowd of chickens at the Fowl Fall Festival is suddenly featherless, and glowing cookies found near the scene are suspected to be linked to the crime. Granny Goosebumps, selling sweaters to the featherless victims, is scheming for a way to raise enough money to move to Florida, but Kung Pow Chicken and his faithful sidekick, Egg Drop, step in to save the day. The story is heavily illustrated and the cartoon style pairs nicely with the story's overall feel. Dialogue appears in speech bubbles, and the frequent poultry plays on words are sure to elicit giggles from young readers. This first offering in a series will have broad appeal among independent readers who have outgrown easy readers but are not yet ready for books relying more on text than illustration.—Matthew C. Winner, Ducketts Lane Elementary School, Elkridge, MD
Second-grade chick Gordon Blue and his younger (not-yet-fully-hatched) brother Benny are accidentally dipped into a vat of toxic sludge that transforms them into superheroes. In these openers, the pair must save Fowladelphia from two different villains. Jam-packed with poultry puns, this transitional series uses language appropriately challenging for emerging readers while retaining a comfort level with a hybrid of traditional and comic full-color illustrations. Review covers these Kung Pow Chicken titles: Bok! Bok! Boom! and Let's Get Cracking!.

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