Candlewick Press, $15.99, 32 pages
Sally’s class has a great big science project: they’re hatching eggs. But right from the beginning Sally knows something is different about her egg. And her “chick” Argus doesn’t look or act like any of the other chicks. Honestly, Sally wishes her weird chick would go away. Then he does. She quickly realizes she misses him and the search begins!
The story of the chick/dragon and his funny interactions with the other students and chicks (and poor Mrs. Henshaw) are enough to carry Argus simply as a fun story about a dragon. I admire Michelle Knudsen for her light touch on the “lesson” : it’s OK to be different (something every preschooler needs to learn). If they like, a teacher or parent could explore the idea of being different with the help of Argus. The honesty of Argus will probably appeal to many children who find themselves in Sally’s position, perhaps with a sibling facing challenges. Sally doesn’t like being different. She’s not even sure she likes Argus. This book can give them permission to have those feelings without feeing “bad” and then ask themselves if they also like that person, even though they are different.
Reviewed by Jodi M. Webb