Chestnut Cove

Chestnut Cove

by Tim Egan, Michael Ed. Lewis
     
 

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Though Chestnut Cove is a rather eccentric small town, it's usually the kind of place where folks stop and smell the roses. And everyone's always willing to help one another out. But when King Milford offers his entire kingdom to "whosoever grows the largest and juiciest watermelon by summer's end," the atmosphere in the village begins to change. The people start… See more details below

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Overview


Though Chestnut Cove is a rather eccentric small town, it's usually the kind of place where folks stop and smell the roses. And everyone's always willing to help one another out. But when King Milford offers his entire kingdom to "whosoever grows the largest and juiciest watermelon by summer's end," the atmosphere in the village begins to change. The people start to daydream about what they could do with the riches and obsessively attend to their gardens. Will greed and watermelons ruin the friendly town of Chestnut Cove?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A distinctive, unconventional ribtickler with a deftly delivered point." School Library Journal, Starred
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers who were charmed by the subtle illustrations and dry wit of Egan's Friday Night at Hodges' Cafe will find more of the same in his second picture book. Chestnut Cove, a coastal village, harbors a neighborly population of animal characters, most of them hippo-like. When their king says he'll bequeath his realm to ``whosoever grows the largest and juiciest watermelon,'' the townsfolk scoff-at first. Then they consider the perks of wealth: ``It was endless how much they didn't have.'' Before long, each homeowner jealously tends a melon garden: Joe Morgan and his cow, Thelma, slosh milk at would-be trespassers, and Mrs. Lark and her pig, Eloise, sleep outdoors to protect their gargantuan fruit. Only when Eloise slips off a cliff and Joe Morgan climbs to her rescue do Chestnut Cove's denizens agree to resume their friendly ways. Egan follows a familiar recipe for conflict in introducing the town-wide competition; his tale of how greed can threaten friendship is well-worn but astutely told. Although some may wish for a less moralistic tale, the author's artwork-with its warm, organic tones of green, gray, brown and yellow-is both highly original in its sensibility and classic in its appeal. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Readers who were charmed by the subtle illustrations and dry wit of Egan's Friday Night at Hodges' Cafe will find more of the same in his second picture book. Chestnut Cove, a coastal village, harbors a neighborly population of animal characters, most of them hippo-like. When their king says he'll bequeath his realm to "whosoever grows the largest and juiciest watermelon,'' the townsfolk scoff-at first. Then they consider the perks of wealth: "It was endless how much they didn't have.'' Before long, each homeowner jealously tends a melon garden: Joe Morgan and his cow, Thelma, slosh milk at would-be trespassers, and Mrs. Lark and her pig, Eloise, sleep outdoors to protect their gargantuan fruit. Only when Eloise slips off a cliff and Joe Morgan climbs to her rescue do Chestnut Cove's denizens agree to resume their friendly ways. Egan follows a familiar recipe for conflict in introducing the town-wide competition; his tale of how greed can threaten friendship is well-worn but astutely told. Although some may wish for a less moralistic tale, the author's artwork-with its warm, organic tones of green, gray, brown and yellow-is both highly original in its sensibility and classic in its appeal.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Egan follows up Friday Night at Hodges' Cafe (Houghton, 1994) with another slightly daft story about waging peace. When King Milford offers his entire kingdom to the grower of the largest watermelon, the neighborly atmosphere of Chestnut Cove darkens with suspicion and jealousy as residents vie for the prize. As the summer passes, tension mounts-until suddenly, the day before judging, the whole town turns out to rescue Mrs. Lark's pet pig, Eloise, from a tight spot; all realize how silly they've been, and the event becomes a companionable all-night melon fest. When Milford sees the paltry specimens left, he sails away in disdain. In the tradition of James Marshall's George and Martha (Houghton), the shmoo-like hippos (in antique small-town dress) of Chestnut Cove are drawn with utmost simplicity, but their tiny eyes and eyebrows convey a world of feeling. Ducks, pigs, and emulike birds roam freely through tidy streets and spacious living rooms, fully accepted members of the community. A distinctive, unconventional ribtickler with a deftly delivered point.-John Peters, New York Public Library
Hazel Rochman
Chestnut Cove is a friendly community, where interesting things are always happening and neighbors try to help each other out as they go about their daily business. Then the king offers to give his kingdom to whoever grows the biggest, juiciest watermelon. Gradually greed and competition separate the villagers, until a sudden catastrophe brings them all together again. The lesson is gentle, the storytelling laconic, and the pictures are wonderfully domestic and silly. The villagers are hippos in human dress, going about their respectable business, their town painted in bucolic green and brick red. The absurdity shows that common sense isn't what it seems and that self-interest is quite ridiculous.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395698235
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/28/1995
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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