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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County

Author: Janice Harrington
Illustrator: Shelley Jackson
Rating:
Reading Level: Pre-K - 3rd


Publisher: FSG
Edition: Hardcover, 2007


I would have to say that this is one of the most joyful picture books I've read this year. I adore everything about it. It's incredibly fun to read the text out loud and to hear it read. It is colorful and energetic, full of poetic inventions:

"wash away the dreaming and brush my teeth whiter than a biscuit"
"fast as a mosquito buzzing and quick as a fleabite"
and listen to the cadence and joy of these glorious lines:
"I think of all kinds of chicken thoughts so they won't know I'm up to something.
Corn, I think, bright, shiny knuckles of yellow corn.
Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! Goldy-brown eggs all warm, warm warm.
Corn bread, corn bread! Crumb and crumble bread.
Worms, Slurms, swishy, swishy-mishy, ickly-tickly worms"

Oh... I'm having so much fun just looking at these words and lines.

And then, of course, there are these glorious illustrations -- where the energy, the colorfulness, and sunshiny fun is captured and further expanded. The mixed media with real object collage illustrations convey the carefree high spirit of our heroine. The most effective compositions are the ones that explode outward:

The page with Pah-Quawkkkkk! and Quawkkkkkk exploding in the center of the spread.

And there are pages more subdued but no less pleasing. There is a great pacing of action verses internal thoughtfulness both in the text, and especially in the illustrations. This is just GLORIOUS! I said it a third time now :)

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1 Comments:

At 10:01 AM , Blogger Cloudscome said...

I am posting about this book today and found your review helpful. I agree with you - the pacing is grand and the wording is joyful and fun to read. Nice job here.

 

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