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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Chicken in the Kitchen
by Nnedi Okorafor
Age Range: 6-8
When a sudden noise wakes Anyaugo in the middle of the night she goes to investigate. There in the kitchen is a giant chicken intent on spoiling all the food her mother and aunties have prepared for the New Yam Festival marking the beginning of the harvest season. Somehow Anyaugo has to find her friend the Wood Wit, a nature spirit who lived in the wooden walls of her house, and persuade him to help her.
This captivating contemporary story by award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor has universal appeal. It is infused by Okorafor's own experience of cultural and spiritual practice in Nigeria based on a story she used to tell her own daughter. The masquerade culture of West Africa and their traditions are enlivened by the sumptuous artwork of Iranian illustrator Mehrdokht Amini which bring this story alive with their richness of colour, in particular the magnificent giant chicken ablaze in differing red hues, the street scene as well as capturing the essence of the cheeky wood wit.
Chicken in the Kitchen won best book at the Children's Africana Book Awards 2016. It is supported by an extensive range of teaching resources that can be downloaded free from the publisher's website.