Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington

I was so excited to find this brand new picture book at my library. The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington and pictures by Shelley Jackson will definitely be used in my class this year! And from reading around, I am not the only one who thinks this picture book is a hit. Case in point, this entry on Chicken Spaghetti.
The most beneficial part of this picture book for my students will be the author's style and the beautiful way Harrington uses imagery through literary techniques and voice. The book is written as a first person narrative and the narrator is a young African-American girl from the south. I knew this would be a perfect picture book when I read the first page and the main character said "Soon as I wake up, wash away the dreaming, and brush my teeth whiter than a biscuit..." Isn't that perfect?
All throughout the book the author poetically uses similes, metaphors, personification, and onomatopoeia. "Plump as a Sunday purse," "quick as a flea bite," "Peckity-scratch-peck, "Molasses-easy," and "Molasses-slow." Those are just a few of the flowery language of the book. This will be perfect for that ONE tricky area when getting students ready for the 5th grade Ohio Achievement Test, figurative language. (Notice I capitalize one because that is all there usually is, one question) They never seem to understand this concept. And I must admit, I find it hard to distinguish the difference sometimes too.
I must mention the pictures in the book. The illustrator, Shelley Jackson, uses a wide array of styles, including some collage. I think it is BEAUTIFUL! I am no expert, but the illustrations really made this book pop. It also fit the setting perfectly.
If you haven't seen this book, check it out, you won't be disappointed.


AMY T said...

Looks like a fun book. I'm gonna check it out.

Jen Barney said...

Looking through Mentor Text's post & came to yours- GREAT BLOG! This book looks great! I will have to put it on my wish list! THANKS FOR SHARING.

Mary Lee said...

DANG! Just placed my $$$ (yes, three digits!) book order at Powells before I saw this.

Must. Have. One. More. Book.

(I'm sick, I know.)