Catch That Chicken!
Catch That Chicken!

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Annotation: The team behind Baby Goes to Market and B Is for Baby visit a Nigerian village for a humorous ode to childhood ingenuity... more
Catalog Number: #238815
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-536-21268-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8626-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-536-21268-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8626-3
Dewey: E
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Sadia is good at spelling, Fatima is the best at braiding hair, and Bilal can herd a bull, but no one is better at catching chickens than Lami. Living in a small African village compound, perhaps in the author's home country of Nigeria, Lami is cheerfully energetic, always ready to take off chasing a chicken, with beaded hair bouncing happily. The text is lively and snappy, full of well-chosen verbs and adverbs punctuated with smooth alliteration. The mixed-media illustrations portray sunny scenes of family life. Scattered throughout are lots of chickens! No mention is made of why Lami might need a chicken (no killing or eating), but the pursuit is entertaining. Lami runs into trouble one day when her quest takes her high up in a baobab tree. Falling and spraining her ankle could have slowed Lami down, but her grandmother reminds her that there is more than one way to solve a problem. Always persistent, Lami comes up with a new approach: leave a trail of corn and get the chicken to come to her.
Publishers Weekly
Baby Goes to Market team Atinuke and Brooksbank tell the story of Lami, a West African girl with beaded braids, bright green sandals, and a talent for catching chickens. Her sister Sadia may be a better speller, her brother Bilal may be braver with bulls, but Lami is the champion chicken catcher. She-s famed throughout her compound, and family members and friends cheer her on. Brooksbank draws the community from above: a fence surrounds the dwellings and outbuildings where adults and children work and play, drying laundry hangs like banners, and huge trees offer shade. Suspense builds as Lami pursues a black-and-white hen around the compound and up an enormous baobab; -Sannu!- her elders tell her, -SLOW DOWN!- When she takes a tumble, it turns out that Lami can catch chickens even after she-s sprained her ankle. The story stars a strong girl of color and offers a look at life in a close-knit community, a setting in which every gift contributes to the whole. Ages 2-5. (July)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Lami is the best chicken catcher in her village. One day in her haste and bravery, Lami chases a chicken right up a baobab tree, but loses her footing and falls, spraining her ankle. With advice from her grandmother to use quick thinking rather than quick chasing, Lami remains the best chicken catcher in the village. Set in a beautiful Nigerian village, this tale highlights the ingenuity of children in a humorous and lively manner. Many valuable lessons are embedded into the narrative, and readers will be inspired by Lami's resilience. The illustrations, created with mixed media, are cheerfully colorful and alluring in their detail. VERDICT Children will enjoy this lively tale of positivity and innovation. Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal Sch., Middleton, DE
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Nobody catches chickens better than Lami, and everyone in the village knows it.Lami hears, “Catch ’am, Lami” from Aunty Aisha, Daddy Danlami, Nana Nadia, and a host of other friends and relatives who all acknowledge this brown-skinned girl’s talent. Many visual and textual details announce this book’s likely Nigerian setting: the school lessons that take place outside under a tree; the beautiful African-patterned fabrics the characters wear; the braided hairstyles of the little girls; a large gathering under a baobab tree, and the Hausa directive for Lami to “Sannu! Sannu!” (“Slow down!”). Ignoring the warnings that relatives fling at her as she runs past, Lami climbs up the baobab in hot pursuit of a black-and-white chicken and falls from a great height. The sprained ankle she gets from the fall slows her legs, but after receiving some sage advice from Nana Nadia, she starts to use her mind more than her legs and finds a new way to do what she loves. Brooksbank’s vibrant illustrations have the look of quickly stroked pastels and teem with motion and activity. Chickens in many colors populate the pages, and the interactions among both adults and children emphasize the strong sense of community in this village. Brooksbank also makes excellent use of white space to focus in on Lami’s love of chickens and her delight in pursuing them.A fun-filled, culturally rich tale that will delight readers young and older. (Picture book. 3-8)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal (6/1/20)
Publishers Weekly (6/1/20)
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-2

The team behind Baby Goes to Market and B Is for Baby visit a Nigerian village for a humorous ode to childhood ingenuity.

Lami is the best chicken catcher in the whole village. Her sister may be speedy at spelling, her friend fast at braiding hair, and her brother brave with bulls, but when it comes to chickens, nobody is faster or braver than Lami. That is, until the day when Lami chases a little too fast, up the baobab tree, and reaches a little too far . . . ow! How can she catch chickens with an ankle that’s puffed up like an angry lizard? Could it be, as Nana Nadia says, that quick thinking is more important than quick running? Award-winning author Atinuke celebrates Nigerian village life in a story vibrantly illustrated by Angela Brooksbank with a universal message at its heart.

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