Beaky Barnes: Egg on the Loose: A Graphic Novel

Beaky Barnes: Egg on the Loose: A Graphic Novel
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Release Date
January 03, 2023
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Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein takes readers on a slapstick journey in his debut graphic novel series, featuring Beaky Barnes, a no-nonsense chicken who's determined to save her desirable egg. But with a hungry inspector, a desperate chef, and an entrepreneurial woman on her tail, Beaky has to use every tool in her chicken coop to make her grand escape.

All the inspector wanted was an egg to go in his sandwich, so he heads to the cafe. The problem? The town is entirely out of eggs, and the local chef is panicked. Luckily, he spots a lovely duo having lunch: a woman and a chicken named Beaky Barnes. It's his lucky day. But when the woman and Beaky have a fight over an offensive business arrangement (chicken-pulled coach service, anyone?), chaos ensues. With a chicken on the run, and an inspector and woman in hot pursuit, three stories emerge with hilarious results!

With laugh-out-loud madcap comedy on every page, David Ezra Stein's (Caldecott Honor winner of Interrupting Chicken) signature humor is on full display in this debut graphic novel!

Editor review

1 review
silly graphic novel
(Updated: December 18, 2022)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
BEAKY BARNES: EGG ON THE LOOSE is a silly graphic novel that begins with the inspector dropping his egg. In quest of a replacement, he heads into town and demands an egg, but they are all out! At the threat of an inspection, the cafe owner goes in search of an egg. However, the market is out - but Beaky Barnes, a chicken, is dining at the cafe, and the owner sees a solution. Things continue to go off the rails with plenty of shenanigans and fake advertisements throughout.

What I loved: This is definitely a graphic novel that will make children giggle as they read with an outlandish comic style that appeals to young readers. The colors and cartoonish imagery is great for this age group, and the pages will turn quickly as readers make their way through the panels. The characters remaining consistent throughout the story and smaller ones reappearing in key places as well as the simplicity of the spiraling story is great for the intended age range.

As a graphic novel, it is easy to follow along with the dialogue and overhead text, not getting too bogged down with wordiness in any places. The advertisements included in key places through the story add to the silliness, as well as the end reveals that make this appear like a cartoon.

What left me wanting more: The graphic novel includes some tricky topics that are not really challenged, such as the inspector limiting food intake as he is on a diet, the use of physical force when upset (fish slaps a woman who ordered fish at a restaurant), stealing by multiple characters (clothes and bike, as well as purse), and lying/trickery (using the stolen clothes to pretend to be inspector boss). Further conversation may be warranted for some children to reinforce why this is present in a funny book but would not be funny in real life.

Final verdict: BEAKY BARNES: EGG ON THE LOOSE is a silly graphic novel that will work for older elementary school aged readers who enjoy some giggles.
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