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Waiting for Chicken Smith

Waiting for Chicken Smith

Illustrated by David Mackintosh


Waiting for Chicken Smith

About the Book

A story about childhood friendships, anticipation, and the magic moments that arise while you’re waiting for something else to happen.

Every year a young boy stays in the same cabin at the beach with his family. And every year his friend Chicken Smith stays in the next cabin over. But this year, something’s different: Chicken Smith hasn’t shown up yet. The boy’s little sister, MaryAnn, keeps trying to get his attention, but he’s too busy remembering all of his adventures with Chicken Smith — and thinking about everything they’re going to do this summer. Is Chicken ever going to show up? And just what has MaryAnn been yelling about? David Mackintosh’s ode to small summer wonders will make readers of all ages open their eyes to the quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments happening all around them.

Product Details

On sale: May 14, 2019
Age: 3-7 years
Grade: Preschool - 2
Page count: 32 Pages
ISBN: 9781536207712
Reading level: Fountas/Pinnell: M

Author Bio

David Mackintosh loves books with pictures in them, flying, visiting cities, and being read to. His picture book Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School was short-listed for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal. He lives in London.


As the poignancy of Chicken's nonarrival settles in (readers see a "Summer RENTAL" sign on his cabin), Mackintosh deftly delivers a satisfying conclusion as the narrator and Mary Ann begin to bond. Mackintosh's text perfectly captures the timelessness of childhood summer, and his scribbly illustrations (done in pen, pencil, ink, watercolor, and kraft paper) conjure associations of a child's project sketchbook, the handcrafted look underscored by the old-fashioned-typewriter typeface. Just wonderful.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Readers will sit with the story long after reading it, and will find themselves returning to it again to try to understand it better. This story is a perfect read for a child who is experiencing significant change, especially when it involves a friend moving away or otherwise leaving that child’s life.
—School Library Journal

Teals, grays, and blacks dominate Mackintosh’s scratchy, loose-lined illustrations, with pops of yellow and a vivid sunset-red stealing the show toward the end—not to be outdone by the cleverly designed spread of a lighthouse on a hill that, from a distance, resembles a giant whale. Time marches on, and things change. Chicken may not be returning, but the boy’s sister is pretty cool after all.
—The Horn Book

Waiting for Chicken Smith, written and illustrated by David Mackintosh, is a quirky, touching book that captures the essence of summertime friendships...Innovative visuals and a poignant plot make this story a winner.

Waiting for Chicken Smith is delightfully written and illustrated and explores childhood friendships, anticipation, disappointment, optimism, and change that leads to unexpected magic and joy.
—Reading Eagle (from Kendal Rautzhan's "Books to Borrow")

In this sandy, warm tableau of summer, a girl savors the sun-drenched beach while her brother is waiting…to relive last year with his friend Chicken Smith. Mackintosh reminds us to savor the past while creating new memories.
—Peter Reynolds, author, Say Something