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Starla Jean Hardcover – Jan. 19 2021
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Printz Honor winner and National Book Award Finalist Elana K. Arnold makes her chapter book debut with this charming story of a girl and her chicken, irresistibly illustrated by A. N. Kang.
Introducing Starla Jean!
She's full of moxie, clever as a fox, and obsessed with catching a chicken she finds at the park.
When Starla first sees the scrawny bird wandering around, she just knows they're destined for one another. Her dad says, "If you can catch it, you can keep it," and Starla Jean is not one to back down from a challenge.
From the Publisher
Starla Jean is a charming chapter book about the friendship between a tenacious young girl and her scrawny pet chicken. What inspired you to write this story?
Once there was a kid who found a chicken at a park. Once there was a parent who, underestimating the kid’s chicken catching skills, declared, “If you can catch it, you can keep it!”
Thus began my family’s chicken years. I was the hapless parent; my son was the chicken catching prodigy. Many years have passed since my kid caught the original Opal Egg, a name he plucked from the air as cleverly as he did the hen.
Most of my fiction comes from this equation: Lived Experience + Observations + “What If” = Story. This book is no exception. Years ago, my kid caught a chicken; over time, I’ve observed how parents often underestimate their children; I asked, “What if the kid who caught the chicken was named Starla Jean? Who would she be, and what would she do?” All that added up to this series of stories.
Do you have a favorite image or spread from the book and why?
A.N. Kang is such a brilliant artist, and I am delighted by each image in this book. Maybe my very favorite, though, is the picture of Starla Jean hiding behind a tree, Opal Egg pecking in the dirt nearby. The words on this spread read, “And that is when I knew that I was going to catch a chicken.” Starla Jean’s determination is plain, both on her face and in her words.
What do you hope readers take away from Starla Jean and Opal Egg’s story?
I hope readers--kids and their grown-ups alike--will, first and foremost, enjoy this book for its own sake. Stories are not tools to teach lessons. They are delightful in and of themselves. I hope readers leave Starla Jean filled up by this story, and also hungry for more stories. The best books do that magic--they both fill you up and leave you hungry for more.
* "This series starter features Starla Jean’s exuberant first-person narration, liberally punctuated with dialogue with her family and neighbors. Readers transitioning to early chapter books will appreciate the four short chapters and the limited amount of text per page, wide margins, and ample space between lines of text. Mercy Watson fans will flock to this whimsical new series for developing readers."―Kirkus, starred review
"Generous white space keeps the momentum rising as running text―a single thought, or sometimes even one word, including the chicken’s initial squawk―stretches across spreads. A smattering of 'Fun Facts About Chickens' creates a humorously informative closing." ― Publishers Weekly
About the Author
A. N. Kang was a product designer for 20 years designing giftwares, jewelries and greeting cards. She also designed holiday installations all over New York City. Her fun side project, a picture book titled ‘The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon’ was published in 2016. Since then, she has been working as a children's book author and illustrator. Her published books include ‘My Big Bad Monster’, ‘Celebrate You!’ and ‘The Squirrel Family Tree’.
- Publisher : Roaring Brook Press (Jan. 19 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 96 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250305764
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250305763
- Item weight : 283 g
- Dimensions : 14.73 x 1.4 x 22.23 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #158,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2021