Supernatural Rubber Chicken: Fowl Language by D.L. Garfinkle, illustrated by Ethan Long. Reviewed from ARC provided by author. Publication date: June 2008
The Plot: The best thing about some books is the title says it all: Supernatural. Rubber. Chicken. I mean, c'mon, it doesn't get better than that, does it?
OK, twins Nate and Lisa, 10, are given the Supernatural Rubber Chicken by their older brother, surfer dude Dave. They don't believe him when he says that the chicken has magical powers; I mean, he is a surfer dude who lives in Arizona.
But then they discover that the chicken really does have powers. Not only that? He talks. Or should I say, complains. And -- his name is Ed.
The Good: A fun, silly read.
What grown-ups will like: the twins' mother is a children's book writer who spends all her time at her computer. Whatever the kids say, including Dave leaving for a surfing trip, is greeted by an absent minded "great dear" as she types away at the Next Great Children's Novel, which, of course, will have a dead dog.
The chicken's magic power is to grant the wish of a super power...for someone else. Which is a nice twist, and I look forward to seeing what happens in other books. Here, for instance, Nate and Lisa each have a friend that they want to help out. Lisa wins, but because the wish is granted to the first person who touches the chicken after the wish is made, there are, of course, unexpected and wacky results.
Here's an example of the humor; a description of a classmate. He had to wait a long time for Dan the Dawdler, who still had to put away his binder, tie his shoes, and think about the meaning of life.
Oh! And I almost forgot. Ed talks; but only Nate and Lisa can hear him. So when other people are around, it's a problem. Lisa is on the bus, and Ed is complaining:
"Concern!" Ed shouted. "You're only concerned about yourself. You couldn't care less about a helpless old bird, could you? No one cares about me. Wah! I feel tears building up behind my beady eyes."
"Oh, little chicken," Lisa said in a gentle voice.
Lisa's [bus] seatmate said, "It's not nice to call me a little chicken just because I'm scared of a spelling test."
Review at Periphereia