Loveykins

Loveykins

by Quentin Blake
     
 

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A delightful tale about growing up and letting go.

One bright spring morning, after a night of gales in the great woods, Angela discovers a small helpless bird who has fallen from his nest. She scoops the creature up and bears him home. From that day on, Angela lavishes all her nurturing care and attention upon the bird. Augustus is wrapped in the softest of

Overview

A delightful tale about growing up and letting go.

One bright spring morning, after a night of gales in the great woods, Angela discovers a small helpless bird who has fallen from his nest. She scoops the creature up and bears him home. From that day on, Angela lavishes all her nurturing care and attention upon the bird. Augustus is wrapped in the softest of blankets and is fed the finest of foods. He travels in style in an elaborate basket, or in his magnificent pushchair. Nothing is too good for Angela's little loveykins. And when Augustus grows too large for his blankets, his basket and his pushchair, Angela builds him his very own shed. All is well, until one fateful night when the storms rage through the great woods once again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"This little loveykins needs someone to look after him," announces Angela Bowling when she finds a baby bird on the ground after a windstorm. The delightfully daft woman takes splendid care of the bird, whom she names Augustus: she bundles him in a scarf, shawl and sweater to keep him warm, places him in an ornate basket and feeds him such delicacies as chocolate eclairs, Black Forest cake and "boxes of chocolates with assorted fillings." Angela even purchases a fancy baby carriage topped with a fringed parasol, in which she takes her preposterously pampered pet for daily strolls. Blake's images of Angela fretting and fawning over her beloved bird are hilarious, revealing a range of exaggerated expressions on the face of the wide-eyed critter, who seems to know exactly how ludicrous he looks. When her loveykins outgrows his basket, the woman purchases a garden shed to house him. One morning, as she brings Augustus his breakfast tray, Angela finds that the wind has blown down the shed, and she faints at the sight of her pet-now a full-grown eagle-spreading his enormous wings. Though he flies away and switches his diet from bonbons to beetles, Augustus "every so often" returns to visit Angela (now obsessed with caring for her cactus collection), repaying her kindness with such gifts as a dead mouse. Appealingly offbeat, this droll tale is classic Blake. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
One day on her way to shop, Angela Bowling finds a baby bird fallen from its nest. She names her "loveykins" Augustus, and spoils him with the best of everything. He keeps growing until one day he emerges so huge that she faints at the sight. Spreading his wings, he goes exploring. But he returns from time to time with a surprise gift for her, a beetle or a mouse. Angela, recovered from the shock and loss of her pet, is glad to see him but she "never eats them." The pages integrate brief bits of text with ink outline drawings; their nervous lines create remarkably expressive characters tinted with transparent colors that help bind the tale together. Blake is able to make us smile at this absurdly simple but profoundly human drama, using only the simplest of art techniques with inherent human impulses. 2002, Peachtree Publishers,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-While strolling in the park, Angela Bowling comes upon a baby bird flung from its nest by a blustery wind. She carries the foundling home, swaddles him in sweaters and blankets, and plies him with gourmet treats. The woman proudly plunks him in a stroller and walks him in the park. When the bird outgrows the stroller, she builds a garden shed to house him and delivers trays of goodies there. When the shed is blown over on another blustery night, the now full-grown bird of prey, no longer encased in blankets, happily discovers what he is meant to do: fly, explore, and nibble at dead squirrels. Angela recovers from the shock, rebuilds the garden shed, and grows cactuses, bestowing on them the same affection and care with which she previously smothered the little creature. While the story is told with Blake's characteristic lighthearted charm and the illustrations are rife with comic detail, the issue of love that stifles rather than saves is handled with sensitivity. Loveykins covers Angela gently with a blanket before flying away, and returns with the occasional dead mouse. He is grateful, but he cannot stay, and Angela's choice of a more suitable outlet reveals her own recognition of that situation.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Engaging with eccentricity is rarely a smooth road, which is why a pairing of quirky and endearing often rings hollow. But in the hands of a master like Blake, this relationship between an unconventional woman and a young bird, unmediated by any softening agents, feels real and good and weird. Angela Bowling discovers a gawky little bird blown from its nest in the great woods. She decides to raise the creature, bestowing the name of Augustus upon it, bringing him home with her, swaddling him in sweaters and scarves, spooning milk into his beak, and, when he is old enough, serving forth creamed carrots, éclairs, and whole boxes of chocolates. Augustus bulges in his wrappings. The two go abroad in the world, Augustus in a fancy new stroller, instinctively eyeing the occasional bug crossing his path, greeting curious characters in the neighborhood. There comes a point when Augustus becomes too big to stay in the basket Angela has made his home, so she stows him in the garden shed. "Once again there came a night of dreadful weather, and big winds blew through the great woods." The wind blew down Augustus's shed, too; freed of his wraps, Augustus spreads his big wings and flies the coop. He marvels in his freedom, learns to savor the remains of a dead squirrel, returns now and then to bring Angela "a dead mouse, perhaps, or a few beetles." Cross-species gestures of love, delightfully queer, dissonant then assonant. Add Blake's idiosyncratic watercolors, which inspire affection and sympathy, and you have the rare eccentric/endearment nexus that emits its own strange, wonderful light. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
“Quentin Blake’s wit is a tonic.” — Observer

“His books are skilful, original, exuberant and witty, and three generations of children have loved them.” — The Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561452828
Publisher:
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Quentin Blake is the main illustrator for Roald Dahl’s books and has collaborated with other well-known children’s authors in addition to producing his own highly acclaimed picture books. He has recently completed a two-year tenure as the first Children’s Laureate.

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