Catch That Chicken! is author Atinuke and illustrator Angela Brooksbank’s latest collaboration since the adorable B is for Baby for beginner readers. Using a similarly vibrant illustrative style, the picturebook for ages 2-5 follows a little girl named Lami. She lives in a compound with a big baobab tree, a cattle pen, multiple houses and many, many, many chickens!
Lami has a special skill. Sister Sadia, Friend Fatima and Big brother Bilal all have their talents like spelling, braiding hair and bravery with the bulls, respectively, but Lami is the best chicken catcher by far! When there are chickens to be caught, Lami never disappoints. The chickens could be clucking through the school, the compound or the cattle pen, Lami’s speed guarantees that the chickens will be stopped in their tracks.
Everything changes, however, when Lami’s abilities get the better of her. “She sprains her ankle so badly that it puffs up like the neck of an angry lizard.” Using Nana Nadia’s advice, Lami leans into her skill for quick thinking so that she can always be a step ahead of her feathered targets. Like B is for Baby, Catch That Chicken features alliteration and readers will enjoy Lami’s many pursuits through her beautiful African compound.
*Review copy of Catch That Chicken! kindly provided by the publisher.
Written by Atinuke
Illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
Candlewick Press, 2020
Page count: 32
Reviews: Reading Middle Grade, Kirkus
Lebohang Masango is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology, an award-winning children’s author and poet. Her debut, Mpumi’s Magic Beads is translated in all 11 official South African languages and has been awarded a South African Literature Award, among others. Her other titles include Grow to be Great: Awesome African Achievers, co-authored with Dr Judy Dlamini, and Mpumi and Jabu’s Magical Day, co-authored with Professor Claudine Storbeck. She tweets at @lebohangwrites.