When her teacher, Mr Benedict (eggs, anyone?), informs the class that chickens can’t see in the dark, little Pippa sets out to prove otherwise.
There are some books that simply defy categorisation because their stories are so original and one-of-a-kind that it’s hard to compare them to others. The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County thus falls into this lofty ‘category of ones’.
In this first-person narrative, the spunky girl in the story proudly tells us about her unusual hobby of chasing the hapless chickens on her grandma’s farm. In fact, she deems herself so skilful at it that she has pronounced herself the ‘Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County’.
These days you read about celebrities who try to cash in on their fame by “writing” (often “co-writing” with the actual writer) a children’s book or two. I can see why people think it’s easy to make a children’s book, but the truth is, truly great children’s books can take years to germinate and a lot of effort to produce — which also explains why there are thousands of bad/mediocre titles out there that don’t read well; are style over substance; are let down by either the text or the images; are pointless copycats of classics (or worse, each other); exist to sell character merchandise; or are just plain uninspired.
It’s a rare thing, thus, to discover a thoroughly sincere and original book with a subject matter that is clearly close to the author’s heart. But that’s exactly what Tillie Lays An Egg is: a labour of love.