Feathers and Foolsby Mem Fox, Nicholas Wilson (Illustrator)
Long ago and far away, in a rambling garden beside a clear blue lake, two flocks of birds began to fear each other because of their differences. The fear grew, and soon the birds became enemies, hoarding great quantities of weapons to protect themselves-until panic struck and the chance for peace seemed lost forever. 11 X 8-1/2. Full-color illustrations
The peacocks and the swans share the same pond peacefully, until the differences between them create tension. When the peacocks note that swans can swim and fly, they irrationally fear that they might be forced to swim and fly, too, and prepare to defend themselves. The swans hear the peacocks' talk of fighting and become frightened enough to develop their own tools of war. When a swan flying overhead is mistaken for an aggressor, the war, once launched, lasts until every bird is dead. Fox (Sophie, 1994, etc.) offers an optimistic ending: The next generation of swan and peacock hatchlings note their similarities instead of differences. Wilton's first children's book shimmers with jewel tones, portraying both the elegant coloring of the peacocks and the misty, backlit shades of white in the swans' feathers. The obvious parallel to violence in the human world is fodder for classroom discussion, but the work is much more than its message. In its antique, folktale look, and in the descriptions of the birds' subtle shifts toward antagonism, the book turns Fox into a contemporary Aesop and aptly demonstrates that the roots of war can thrive in a pond of gossip.
"Powerful...The text's pointed poetry will sink directly into children's hearts."—Publishers Weekly
"This allegory is alive with symbolic references and ideas....Vivid."—School Library Journal
- Turtleback Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 11.08(w) x 8.62(h) x 0.34(d)
- Age Range:
- 5 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
MEM FOX is the author of many acclaimed books, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Time for Bed, and, for adults, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She lives in Adelaide, Australia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews