Last year I absolutely adored 'Charlie Changes into a Chicken'.  It was fresh, funny and had a fantastic message about mental health. Its sequel is even better. I even annoyed my wife while she was trying to work because I kept laughing so loudly. With extra poo, wee and other stinks, 'Charlie Turns into a T-Rex' is another rip-roaring success.

Charlie McGuffin has a new worry to, well, worry about. His dad's job is under threat and his family might have to move house, into their smelly aunt's place.  But there is a way Charlie and his friends might be able to prevent all that from happening, if only Charlie could learn to control when he transforms into animals. Easier said than done!

Having suffered from anxiety in my youth, I really empathize with Charlie's mental and emotional rollercoasters. Again Sam Copeland effortlessly evokes his worries and maddening thoughts so well and counterbalances it all with hilarious set-pieces. The book should come with a warning because there is a lot of poo, fart and wee references, which doesn't really matter as it is so ridiculously funny. A scene involving a skunk was responsible for my wife's annoyance - if only she knew what I was reading (or smelling in the room of my imagination!)

Although Charlie is our reluctant hero, the story is still as much about his friends and what having supportive friends really mean. Messages about handling mental health also seems to have gone deeper: what happens if you force worry on yourself? Is cultivating an awareness of anxiety the key to accepting it? I will be interested to see in which direction Copeland takes these themes. Otherwise I will relish the prospect of the next fart gag.

 

Children must read this series! It is so funny with such a good message too. As I have said before,: roll over Wimpy Kid, roll over Tracey Beaker, because Charlie is in town and he's making a wonderful stink you can't ignore!

 

 https://www.waterstones.com/book/charlie-changes-into-a-chicken-2/sam-copeland//9780241346228

© 2020 by Chris Soul. 

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