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The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County Hardcover – March 20, 2007
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—In this delightful story about life on a farm, an African-American youngster is determined to become the best chicken chaser ever, although Big Mama repeatedly asks her to leave the animals alone. Despite the girl's best efforts, her favorite chicken, Miss Hen, always manages to escape. As the summer days wear on, she finally finds Miss Hen's hiding spot in the tall green grass. She is sitting on a nest with "fuzzy chicks cuddling tight beneath her wing," and although it would be easy to grab her, the child makes a more mature decision and resists the temptation. Harrington uses exceptionally colorful and descriptive language throughout the tale. Miss Hen has feathers as "shiny as a rained-on roof" and is as "plump as a Sunday purse." Her calls sound "like pennies falling on a dinner plate." Jackson's intriguing collages, combining printed cloth with painterly brushstrokes, will have readers lingering over the pages. The birds' feathers are fashioned out of different materials, including fabric, marker pen on loose-leaf paper, newsprint, and lace. Shifting perspectives capture the thrill of the chase as well as the calm of quieter moments. The youngster's face clearly expresses determination, understanding, and pride. This book makes a marvelously delicious read-aloud, accompanied by participatory "prucks" and "squawks" from the audience.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Harrington, whose Going North (2004) was named a Booklist Top of the List--Picture Book, offers another winning book. "I'm the Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County," announces a young African American girl. Gray-haired Big Mama warns her to leave the birds alone, but the girl can't restrain herself: the chase is too much fun, and the elusive Miss Hen is her ultimate prize. When the girl finally manages to sneak up on Miss Hen in the grass, she discovers her prize surrounded by chicks, and the girl instantly reforms: "I know you're a mama now . . . . I won't trouble your babies." Both words and pictures elevate a simple story about a girl's sly barnyard game into a rollicking, well-told delight. The words are both colloquial and poetic, and Harrington perfectly balances the tense strategizing and stalking ("I sneaky-hide behind Big Mama's wheelbarrow and make myself small, small, small") as well as the gentle caring that follows. Jackson's exceptional collages of cut paper, fabric, and paint magnify both the feather-flying action and the characters' emotions, including the loving bond between the girl and Big Mama. Kids will easily feel the irresistible allure of a subversive game as well as the deep bond with an animal friend. A first-rate read-aloud. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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And the art is a perfect match for the exuberance of the poetic text.
Here is our blurb for the awards:
"Mama says "NO," but this farm girl seems determined to keep right on chasing chickens, especially poor Miss Hen, the one chicken that always gets away. This lively story is told in the first-person voice of our full-of-the-devil young lady, using language that sings with the vernacular and cadence of true country storytelling. The illustrations are a perfect match in spirit, and they move the tale along with equal verve, using the rich texture of collage, skilled brush strokes, celebratory colors and charming whimsy. Best of all, we learn that even the wildest hearts are capable of warmth and growth. "
Most recent customer reviews
I am about to buy this book via Amazon, b/c my son (3 years old) and I picked it up at the library and after I read it to him once, he did not want me...Read more