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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One of these things is not like the others: Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester L. Laminack

Hi there, insatiable readers!
Welcome back.  A quick reminder regarding the “dream come true” giveaway going on right now here on the site…your chance to win a copy of the newly released book The Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor; don’t miss out!  A link to the post with all the details can be found in the right hand side bar for your entering convenience.  Speaking of dreams coming true…

Today’s post is somewhat related.  It’s a new release from a well known publisher of many great children’s books featuring two names (both author and illustrator) that you may recognize from previous works…but combined, create a magic all their own.  You’ll laugh, you’ll smile; you’ll learn a lesson or two along the way that’s good for the soul.  In short, it’s an enchanting read for all ages that…well, let me just introduce you to the title before I continue to gush here.  Today’s book of choice is…

illustrated by

Old MacDonald had a farm…ee I ee I oh….no.  Whoops; wrong farm.  Let’s try that again, shall we?  Mr. and Mrs. Tucker had a farm and what a farm it was.  They had hens and cows, a wonderful vegetable garden and a dog to add that finishing touch of charm and warmth to the bunch.  Yes siree, it was a site to behold…but with the passing of time, it was slowly going the way of the telegraph; slipping into oblivion.  After all, what’s to grab the attention of passersby to a farm raised vegetable stand or fresh milk and eggs when the supermarket has all of these things and more at a “low-low-price-right-now -stop-on-down”?  They needed a little flash, a little panache; something to make them turn their heads and take notice before driving by to the local “discount store that shall not be named”…even if they weren’t aware of it themselves; but what to do?  One unlikely delivery later and we’re well on our way to finding out…

There’s an old saying that goes…if the shoe fits, wear it.  Now I know what you must be thinking…what on earth does that have to do with this book…right?  Hang on…I’m getting to it.  There’s an even older saying that tells us…the grass is always greener on the other side.  Combine these two and shake your tail feathers a bit…and you have a good idea of what this story is all about.

With lively colored illustrations and a beautiful cover to match, I’d say the picture portion of this book is well spoken for.  Seriously!  As much fun as the front is with the peacock wondering what in the world the hens are doing in his plumage, turning the book around reveals the “other end” of the story…literally, you see the hens’ backsides.  Gotta love wrap around covers.  That spirit of lively fun is carried forth within the book as well as the story of the newcomers adventure on the farm unfolds with misunderstandings, revelations, and smiles.  There is no denying its wide appeal. 

Delving behind the cover, we find a dog with all the smarts, a peacock merely trying to find its place, a few well meaning but clueless humans…and a few hens that are simply put, a riot.  They are the driving force behind the antics that ensue as they wish to be the center of attention and deem the new comer a lazy show off that contributes nothing but a novelty for folks to see.  Little do they know how hard a role he has, at least until they try to step into his “shoes” for a day…to hilarious and eye opening results.

The story itself shows us that we each have a purpose; no matter how big or small we (or it) may be.  It’s something made for us alone and although it may not be as flashy or glamorous as we may have hoped, it is still a vital part of the big picture; without us it sits in the corner, an unfinished masterpiece.  Recommended reading for both the young and the young at heart; what the story doesn’t do to raise your spirits, the illustrations will take care of along the way. 

This book was scheduled for release yesterday (03/01/11) so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  Review copy received courtesy of Samantha at Peachtree Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their entire enchanting catalog, be sure to check out their website (1 and 2), blog, or follow along on Twitter.  Interested in learning more about the author and illustrator?  No worries…links to their sites have been included as well for your viewing pleasure.

Until next time…happy reading!


Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds way cute. And the cover is so comical.

April said...

How fun! I love the title and the cover! It sounds like something my son would love! Great post!

The1stdaughter said...

We are absolutely loving this one as well and I've got my review coming up pretty soon. It's just hilarious and I love hearing the kiddos chuckle along with the story. Loved the review! And I agree...the cover is fantastic! ;o)

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