The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County

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Meet one smart chicken chaser. She can catch any chicken on her grandmother’s farm except one – the elusive Miss Hen. In a hilarious battle of wits, the spirited narrator regales readers with her campaign to catch Miss Hen, but this chicken is “fast as a mosquito buzzing and quick as a fleabite.” Our chicken chaser has her mind set on winning, until she discovers that sometimes it’s just as satisfying not to catch chickens as it is to catch them.


A fresh voice full of ...

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Meet one smart chicken chaser. She can catch any chicken on her grandmother’s farm except one – the elusive Miss Hen. In a hilarious battle of wits, the spirited narrator regales readers with her campaign to catch Miss Hen, but this chicken is “fast as a mosquito buzzing and quick as a fleabite.” Our chicken chaser has her mind set on winning, until she discovers that sometimes it’s just as satisfying not to catch chickens as it is to catch them.


A fresh voice full of sass and inventive, bold collage illustrations full of surprises create a childlike escapade brimming with funny high jinks that leads the reader on a merry, memorable chase.


The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book just begs to be read aloud, with long pauses to take in the complexity of the gorgeous half painted, half collage illustrations."—Time Magazine

“Never has the expression “feathers will fly” been aptly illustrated as in this vivacious story." —Starred, Kirkus Reviews

"Both words and pictures elevate a simple story about a girl's sly, barnyard game into a rollicking, well-told delight. A first-rate read-aloud." —Starred, Booklist

“This funny story will have city kids longing for the chance to chase (and/or nurture) some chickens themselves.” —Starred, The Horn Book

"The mischief sings in every syllable fo this energetic tale . . . Harrington's storytelling style make the prose jump from page to ear."—Starred, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Exceptional.” —Book Links

“A marvelously delicious read-aloud.” —School Library Journal

“A spirited read-aloud.” —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Harrington's (Going North) chipper narrator loves chasing the chickens on her farm, even though Big Mama warns her, "If you make those girls crazy, they won't lay eggs." In lyrical, creatively visual language, the pigtailed girl describes Miss Hen, her favorite prey: "Her feathers are shiny as a rained-on roof. She has high yellow stockings and long-fingered feet, and when she talks- 'Pruck! Pruck! Pruck!'-it sounds like pennies falling on a dinner plate." But this hen is too speedy for the child to catch. When Miss Hen disappears, the youngster checks possible hiding places and finally finds her in tall grass, sitting on a nest of eggs with three newly hatched chicks by her side. Protecting her brood, the still hen is hers for the snatching, but the wise girl tells her not to worry: "I know you're a mama now. You're doing what you need to do. I won't trouble your babies." Now, instead of chasing the chickens, the child diligently feeds Miss Hen and her 12 chicks, vowing that, when those babies grow up, she will teach them "to run so fast that no one will ever catch them-not even a chicken chaser like me!" Jackson's (The Old Woman and the Wave) sunny, mixed-media collage art inventively combines variegated patterns, textures and photos (the especially dashing Miss Hen is a brightly hued patchwork bird) and conveys the young heroine's boundless energy. Lively chicken chat-much of it presented in collage-makes this a spirited read-aloud. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Chasing chickens requires a special talent, which this young black narrator is proud to possess. She stands still as sunlight while the colorful chickens pause, each waiting with one leg raised in the air. Then they all take off. Zap! Another chicken is caught. But our spunky heroine is not satisfied. One chicken, haughty Miss Hen, always eludes her. The Queen of Chicken Chasing tries all her tricks. She makes herself small, hides behind Big Mama's wheelbarrow, and feigns indifference. Miss Hen quietly disappears. A careful search reveals that she is not in any of the usual hiding places. Not one to give up, our young protagonist does find Miss Hen—and then she is the one that is in for a surprise. She forfeits her chance to catch the wily hen as she admires the new chicks emerging from Miss Hen's eggs. Colorful illustrations fill the pages with action and suspense. A good read-aloud choice for preschoolers.
Kirkus Reviews
Never has the expression, "feathers will fly" been as aptly illustrated as in this vivacious story of an African-American farm girl who loves nothing more than chasing chickens. Every morning, the self-appointed queen tells tales to gray-haired Big Mama and heads outside to pursue her prey. The story details the joy-and strategy-of the chase in playfully poetic prose: "Then I sneaky-hide behind Big Mama's wheelbarrow and make myself small, small, small." The girl's favorite victim, the elusive Miss Hen, gets a break when her tormentor discovers she's now a nesting mother with fuzzy chicks, a heartwarming development that reforms the once-insatiable chicken-chaser . . . at least temporarily. Harrington's soothingly rhythmic first-person storytelling is just right for reading aloud. Jackson's delightful collages, patched with photos of colorful fabric and other everyday objects, capture the kinetic frenzy of chickens from a variety of unusual perspectives. Cut-out letters and spelling variations on "squawk" add occasional Vladimir Radunsky-style flair, though there's nothing cartoonish about the realistic, wonderfully expressive faces of Big Mama and her charge. Contented clucks all around. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374312510
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 3/20/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 277,882
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.58 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

JANICE HARRINGTON's Going North, for which she received the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, was a Top of the List Booklist Editors' Choice. She lives in Champaign, Illinois. SHELLEY JACKSON is the author-illustrator of several picture books and author of adult fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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