Local Utah science teacher and children’s book author Shaunda Wenger (S.K. Wenger as her pen name) recently debuted her new children’s picture book, “Chicken Frank, Dinosaur!” published by Albert Whitman & Co. This book ties in with Darwin Day on February 12th for its story related to the evolution of birds from Therapod dinosaurs.

Introducing kids to the idea of evolution in a humorous way, Shaunda tells us humor makes learning fun as kids see connections between chickens and dinosaurs, but also other animals they may not know like alligators and (spoiler!) sharks!

“Chicken Frank, Dinosaur!” is illustrated in comic-book style. Comic-style books and graphic novels are increasingly popular, and there are many benefits to the style for emerging readers. Despite what seems to be sparse text, they build vocabulary because the number of rare words per 1,000 is nearly as high as an adult book!

For this book, Shaunda aimed to introduce readers to scientific words like evidence, evolution, mutation, and trait. The text repeats these words through the dialogue so readers are exposed to them in different contexts to gain understanding. One mother who visited with her at a book-signing said her five year old daughter learned to read with Chicken Frank, some of her first words that she recognized for reading included scientific terms!

Find “Chicken Frank, Dinosaur” The Kings English Bookshop, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and bookshop.org.

For activities and recipes to accompany the book, visit: www.skwenger.com

Deena Manzanares
Deena Marie Manzanares is a Utah native, but lived in NYC for a few years while attending the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Locally, she has worked as a professional actor for years in both stage and film.