Beauty and Beaks: A Turkey's Cautionary Tale


Beauty and her friends think Lance is the most conceited bird in the hen yard. He spends his time swaggering around the Chic Hen beauty shop, boasting that he is the only bird invited to a special feast. Then Beauty accidentally discovers just what kind of guest Lance will be. Can she save Lance before his life eggspires?

Kirkus Reviews eggsclaimed that "readers will cackle endlessly" over the latest of the ...

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Beauty and her friends think Lance is the most conceited bird in the hen yard. He spends his time swaggering around the Chic Hen beauty shop, boasting that he is the only bird invited to a special feast. Then Beauty accidentally discovers just what kind of guest Lance will be. Can she save Lance before his life eggspires?

Kirkus Reviews eggsclaimed that "readers will cackle endlessly" over the latest of the Auchs' popular poultry parody books about a turkey that gets an eggstreme makeover.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sheilah Egan
One can only imagine the great fun the Auchs have working together on their eye-catching, pun-filled collaborations. Fascinated with chickens, Mary Jane creates her three-dimensional characters with felted wool, polymer clay and a variety of costumes she sews from all sorts of fabrics, feathers, ribbons, do-dads, and what-have-you's. Herm takes photos of all sorts of objects and manipulates everything (including the chicken creations) with his computer to produce the hilarious books that feature Mary Jane's wild and feathery stories. This book centers on the arrival of Lance the turkey, who has come for a feast to which the chickens have not been invited. Beauty, the owner of The Chic Hen beauty parlor, tries to curb the gossip and beak clacking that goes on in her establishment, but when oh-so-stuck-up Lance sashays through the door the air is filled with "henny" (read as "catty"; I could not mix fauna) comments. The puns and use of "egg" in the spelling of everything from the "Eggsit" sign to "eggstensive" make this a wonderful book to read aloud. Upper-grade teachers will be able to use this "eggceptional" book to discuss the use of language and how it can actually become a part of the story itself. Younger readers/listeners will find the storyline funny enough to make up for any of the humor that is over their heads. The scene in which Beauty discovers just what sort of feast features Lance as its main guest is nothing short of a "hoot." Auch uses polymer clay to create the eyeballs and beaks of her chickens, and when Beauty sees the cookbook opened to "Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing," her expression is too funny for words. The Auchs deserve an award for that one look. Anotheraward-worthy image is the look on Lance's face when he exclaims, "Wattle I do?" Yet another great image shows the hens gathered in Beauty's shop having their feathers done while reading magazines with advertisements that feature "Chicksticks in 6 Beakoming Colors." You get the idea. This is simply creative fun at its best. Creative writing classes could get a great deal of "eggcellent" "eggsamples" out of the study of this wonderfully "eggsecuted" farce.
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4
Wonderfully creative handmade characters and sets are the highlight of this over-the-top chicken tale about a beauty shop, a vain Tom turkey, and Thanksgiving Day dinner. One day, a self-important turkey enters The Chic Hen and announces that he's been invited to a special dinner. When Beauty, the owner of the shop, discovers that he is not invited for dinner but as dinner, she and the other hens strategize to save the frantic fowl. Their best and final plan, to put him in a dress and save him from the oven, works well. Every word that begins with the letters "ex" (and there are many of them) are re-spelled to fit the theme: "eggsercise," "eggsploring," "eggstensive," etc. The book is filled with puns that will be understood by older children and adults. In one instance, a beauty shop customer is reading Miss Coop Living magazine and the two feature articles are "Feathering Your First Nest" and "Living on the Other Side of the Road." The illustrations are well worth poring over. The author made chicken mannequins with polymer eyes, beaks, and shoes, as well as wool wings and yarn feathers. Her husband designed the sets, built them, and photographed the images, adjusting their size. A humorous story about dressing a turkey, but not in the usual manner.
—Maryann H. OwenCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Leaving no yolk uncracked, the Auchs strut their stuff once again with this Thanksgiving tale of an arrogant turkey and the goodhearted hens who take him under their wings. "Wattle I do?" wails Lance the turkey, upon discovering that he's about to become a main course. Because flying or even climbing the fence are not options, it's up to Beauty and her feathered cohorts at the Chic Hen salon to save his drumsticks-by disguising him as another hen. This requires a makeover of the most eggstensive sort. Constructed from modeling clay and various sorts of brightly hued sewn and felted fabrics, the stylish all-poultry cast clucks and flutters its way through scatterings of Photoshopped beauty supplies and farmyard details. Not only does the subterfuge work, it turns Lance into a regular, cross-dressing customer of the Chic Hen. Readers will cackle endlessly. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823421640
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 398,548
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 11.02 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Auch enjoys arts and crafts, particularly when it comes to creating movable chicken mannequins. She has received much praise for her original stories and fractured fairy tales. She lives with her husband and collaborator, Herm Auch, near Rochester, New York.

Herm Auch has collaborated with his wife, Mary Jane, on nine books for children. The computer and photography specialist in the duo, he is a retired graphic artist from Gannett Newspapers in Rochester.

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