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Charlie Changes Into a Chicken

(Charlie #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  96 reviews
The first book in a hilarious new series perfect for fans of David Walliams, Kid Normal and Tom Gates.

Charlie McGuffin tries to be an optimist, but in reality he's a bit of a worrier.

Some of the things Charlie is worried about:

· His brother (who is in hospital)

· Their very panicked parents

· Unwanted attention from the school bully

· The fact that he's started turning into a
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Puffin (first published February 2nd 2019)
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Popular Answered Questions
Sam Copeland Sorry only just saw this question! It's not a were-chicken. Were-chickens only come out at full moons, whereas this chicken comes out at all times of …moreSorry only just saw this question! It's not a were-chicken. Were-chickens only come out at full moons, whereas this chicken comes out at all times of the lunar cycle. (less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  383 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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London Shah
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just read an advance copy of this book yesterday and oh my goodness — such a precious little gem of a story! Charlie Changes into a Chicken has become my absolute favourite Middle Grade fantasy read, and is hands down the funniest book I've ever had the pleasure of discovering. The author has been likened to a modern-day Roald Dahl, and from the moment you start reading you can see this is no exaggeration.

Copeland narrates Charlie's tale so skilfully, with so much wit, heart, and humour, you'
Spencer Orey
There's an inconsistent sweetness here, in a story about a kid dealing with anxiety by turning into animals. And there are some great moments. But mostly, I am disappointed.

The reason for my disappointment is the strangely aggressive narrator. The narration really got in the way for me, to the point where I sometimes questioned whether I should be reading this to my kid. I understand there's a certain joking British male comedy voice that many people apparently find hilarious, but to me it felt
Michelle Harrison
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gloriously silly, gleefully naughty and totally entertaining. So good, in fact, that I HAD to finish it once my son was asleep! Sam Copeland is clearly mad, just like all the best ones - even the author biography is pure comedy. Sarah Horne’s quirky illustrations are the perfect match in this wonderful book for young readers.
Marie the Librarian
I liked this. A lot. It was funny and surreal! I like the humor, its not too much. Also Charlie is adorable and so are his friends!
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
What a lovely read!

In Charlie Changes Into a Chicken we follow Charlie's day to day as he changes into animals. We have his loyal group of friends coming together and trying to understand why is this happening and what can they do to prevent Charlie from changing into animals in this not-so-marvel way.

It's a fun narrative exploring stress and anxiety.

Illustrations by Sarah Horne are an absolute delight and I enjoyed this read from the first chapter.

Witty, silly, fun - Charlie Changes Into a Ch
Elaine Harris
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book.ok I know it's aimed at children and I know my grandchildren will love it but it is a great read even for us mature people. Beautifully written and illustrated.
Leilah Skelton
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charlie Changes Into A Chicken is the hilarious, calamitous story of a week in the life of a schoolboy and his close friends. School is hard at the best of times, but it's even tougher when your big brother is very ill, the school play looms, your arch enemy has your downfall in his sights, and you've suddenly, inexplicably, uncontrollably, started changing into random animals…

Sam Copeland packs in the sniggers at a fearsome pace, and clearly has a keen tickle finger on the funny bone of his au
Meet Charlie a fairly normal boy... well... with the exception of the tiny little thing he has.. he can change into animals.

I just love books like this so of course I had to get it, and boy oh boy I had so much fun reading it. It mixes magic and humour with serious topics like anxiety and a sick family member. I loved how well the author balances these and makes it a fun and engaging story.

Charlie was such a wonderful sweet boy, and I knew pretty much from the start what was making him change t
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I first picked up Charlie Changes Into A Chicken I had a quick flick through but half an hour later I was fifty pages through the book, I couldn't put it down! I may not have been the intended audience as I am not a child but the story was so brilliantly written and so funny that I couldn't help but read it and see what happened to Charlie. The book follows a young boy called Charlie who keeps changing into animals and he can't quite work out why until his friends try to help him to deal wi ...more
Robin Stevens
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very funny indeed. No chickens, though. (6+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Meet Charlie. He’s a fairly normal nine-year-old who enjoys playing FIFA on the PS4 and tries to stay positive—even though he’s the target of the school bully and his brother is in hospital. Oh, and he also happens to turn into a colourful menagerie of animals when he least expects it, from a high-hopping flea to an incontinent rhino.

Young readers are sure to be delighted by Charlie’s lively tale, which begins in action-packed fashion and manages to sustain its pace throughout. Each animal trans
Katie Blagden
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the funniest kid's book I've read in the last year. Sam Copeland has written a pitch-perfect book that manages to been hilarious while still tackling issues of anxiety and a family going through tough times. Never tipping over into a preachy, lessons-being-learned tone, Charlie and his friends jump from one brilliant moment to the next, ganging together to take on stage-fright, school bullies and, of course, the problem of suddenly turning into a snake halfway through class.

This book wi
Stephen Connor
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Charlie McGuffin has inexplicably turned into a spider, and can’t work out why. He’s not Spider-Man. He’s not been exposed to radiation. He just changed.

He confides in his friends, who try a number of slapstick, ill-thought-out but ultimately well-intended experiments to find out why this happens. Charlie changes into a variety of animals, gets into an enormous amount of trouble, and, most disastrously of all, has his secret discovered by the school bully, Dylan.

Will Charlie be able to control
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this to my year 3/4 class and it was a huge success. Children who often don’t enthuse about books went home and looked online to see when the next one would be out - alas not till August, but there’ll be a queue come September! It was hilarious - for me as well as them, which is not always the case. It reads aloud brilliantly, has lots of excitement and suspense, and also manages to raise important issues about family, friendship and fears in a thought-provoking way. The plot is zany, as th ...more
Jenny Caddick
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! Full of laugh out loud moments and those lump in the throat ones that both leave the reader with tears in their eyes. Deals with a hugely important issue of a child's anxiety and worry in such a gloriously positive and upbeat manner . From the hilarious footnotes,to the chatty narrating style,to the fabulous foursome that Charlie and his friends make (not forgetting the flirty French pigeons and a HUGE amount of poo) this book captured my heart and was a joy to read!
Jenny Holder
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’d heard a lot of talk about this book and how funny it was but also how it was a great representation of what it’s like to have anxiety. I’m sometimes a bit wary of hype but I’m particularly interested in children’s books that deal with mental health or emotional wellbeing so I decided that this was a book that I really needed to read, I’m so glad that I did.
First of all, the book is genuinely laugh out loud funny. I often inwardly smile at books but it takes a lot to make me guffaw and prope
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My class LOVE this book. It took twice as long to read as it should have, because both I and they could not stop laughing. It touches on important topics (illness, anxiety) in an authentic, non-patronising way, making it a good book to start discussions with children. However, the number one reason you should buy this book is because it’s just too funny. Plus Sarah Horne’s illustrations are a delight and only add to the laughs!
Andrew Clover
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OK, I admit it… I’m a grown-up, and bought this – perfectly legitimately – for my daughter, but then got seduced into it, because of the wonderfully warm, and jokey prose. ‘An average rhincerous can do as much as twenty kilograms of poo… A poo the size and weight of a six-year-old child laid by a majestic rhino gallivanting across the vast open plains of Africa is one thing. However, a poo the size and weight of a six-year-old child laid in an average-size bedroom is a VERY different proposition ...more
Rashmi Sirdeshpande
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SO FUNNY! Found myself giggling away in public (and attracting some very strange looks, which I ignored because the book was totally worth it). And it deals so sensitively with the issue of anxiety. Very, very clever.

Oh and thanks to this book, I'm also completely in love with a pigeon called Jean-Claude.
Tom Mooney
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mr Gum meets Flat Stanley. Very good.
( Kirsten  Allen
Well, one book that has been everywhere with us*, is Charlie Changes Into A Chicken written by Sam Copeland.

*we did get some funny looks on the tube when I was reading out loud to my son about spiders having 8 bums – but I bet that’s just because the other passengers were jealous. (That they were just reading boring newspapers, not because they don’t have 8 bums…..)

Charlie McGuffin is a boy with an incredible secret….when he feels anxious and worried HE CHANGES INTO ANIMALS. All sorts of animals
Grace Machon
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ridiculously funny and so heartwarming.
Jennifer PE
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Charlie does what now? He changes into a chicken. Except he doesn’t. But when he’s anxious he does change into lots of other animals. Inconvenient? You bet. Funny? Definitely. So funny your child laughed so much they did a little bit of wee in their pyjama bottoms. Unfortunately.
Author, Sam Copeland, has managed to tap into important issues kids face and, with a lightness of touch, show ways in which they can cope with them. He has managed to do all this within a plot involving a toilet-snake, a
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, children-s-book
This book is hilarious! I wasn't expecting to like it and I absolutely loved it. I was crying with laughter through the while thing, the author's tongue in cheek narration and footnotes added an extra layer of fun to a story that already had a boy turning into animals. My favourite character is Dylan the wannabe Bond villain. And Flora, because she's AWESOME. On a serious note, this book deals with some unexpectedly deep material.
Joseph Elliott
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome. The funniest book I can remember reading in a long time; I genuinely laughed out loud numerous times - it is full to bursting with witty tongue-in-cheek and self-referential humour. And quite a few poo jokes. If you know any kids, buy them this and they've love you forever (or at least for a bit). If you don't know any kids, just buy it for yourself.
Beck Rodgers
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charlie suddenly starts changing into animals, and the school bully knows and wants to expose him. His friends come to his aid, to help find out why and stop Charlie from changing.

This is such a funny book, full of bum and poo jokes, that had me chuckling as a grown up (I do enjoy a bit of toilet humour), but was not too over the top as they can sometimes be. There is a comedic conversational banter with the author with Q&A's and footnotes, which i also really enjoyed and added a bit extra.

I to
Heloise Wood
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book: it's funny, imaginative and touching. Also features some great characters (Flora is my fave). Recommend for all the kids and chickens in your life.
Tracy Curran
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For my full review follow the link to

In my epic search to find chapter books that will engage my little ones and encourage them to make the (gentle) leap from picture books to chapter books, I have explored classic reads (mainly Dahl), nostalgic reads, cross-over series and celebrity authors. The results have been hugely varied, as expected. But overall, other distractions are still winning out over the chance to be read to.
So I thought I'd turn my attenti
Louise / Daisy May Johnson
There's something rather appealing about a book that displays its intent so clearly. Charlie Changes Into A Chicken gives you everything from page one, and continues to do that on every page that follows. It's determinedly readable (seriously the drive behind this is almost palpable), full of direct address to the reader and some very funny moments. Charlie McGuffin (the layers of meaning in THAT surname...) has developed a curious talent. At times of great personal stress, he turns into an anim ...more
Kate Poels
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Charlie can turn into animals. Cool right? Well not exactly. The trouble is he has no control over it, absolutely no idea when it will happen or what he will change into. The big worry for Charlie is that it will happen when he’s in front of the whole school as he takes to the stage as a vegetable in the school play. And if THAT happens, so his friends kindly point out, he will surely be taken away for dodgy scientific experiments. With the help of his friends Charlie needs to find out what is h ...more
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Sam Copeland is a Waterstones Children's Book Prize shortlisted author. He 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 was his first book. It was followed by the sequel Charlie Turns Into ...more

Other books in the series

Charlie (3 books)
  • Charlie Turns Into a T-Rex
  • Charlie Morphs Into a Mammoth (Charlie Changes Into a Chicken Book 3)

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