cover image Catch That Chicken!

Catch That Chicken!

Atinuke, illus. by Angela Brooksbank. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1268-6

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. [em](July) [/em]