A fun-filled, culturally rich tale that will delight readers young and older.

CATCH THAT CHICKEN!

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)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1268-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more