She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!

She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!

by Kathryn Lasky, David Catrow
     
 

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Feathers on ladies' hats were becomming more and more popular. Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna Hall believed something had to be done. Fashion was killing birds as well as women's chances to have the right to vote and be listened to. For who would listen to a woman with a dead bird on her head? And if the senseless slaughter for a silly fashion was not…  See more details below

Overview

Feathers on ladies' hats were becomming more and more popular. Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna Hall believed something had to be done. Fashion was killing birds as well as women's chances to have the right to vote and be listened to. For who would listen to a woman with a dead bird on her head? And if the senseless slaughter for a silly fashion was not stopped, in a few years the birds with the prettiest feathers would all be dead, gone forever, extinct.

"Why not form a bird club?" suggested Harriet.

"What a wonderful idea," said Minna. "Let's do it. Let's start a club for the birds!"

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Proper Boston ladies Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna Hall are absolutely incensed by the latest style: ladies' hats topped with not just feathers but whole birds (``from egrets to pheasants to owls to warblers... even pigeons!''). The fad dovetails with the women's suffrage movement: ``Fashion was killing birds as well as killing women's chances to have the right to vote and be listened to. For who would listen to a woman with a dead bird on her head?'' Harriet and Minna found the Massachusetts Audubon Society; take their crusade to sportsmen, socialites and schoolchildren; lobby for laws to protect wildfowl; and even help bust an illegal feather warehouse. Catrow (The Cataract of Lodore; Ridiculous Rhymes from A to Z, reviewed below) contributes flamboyant caricatures of the behatted Bostonians in convincing period costume, and his watercolors of birds mimic John James Audubon's own naturalistic paintings. Despite Lasky's and Catrow's enthusiasm, however, Harriet and Minna in their zealotry seem just as exaggerated and one-dimensional as their fashionably feathered foes. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Early this century, dead birds or their plumage adorned many a hat. But no one now exclaims She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head! thanks to Harriet Hemenway, Minna Hall, and their Audubon Society cohorts. Kathryn Laskey introduces the activists and tells, with poetic license carefully noted, how they became the driving force behind the movement to end the slaughter of birds for fashion's sake. David Cartow's colorful caricatures add a humorous dimension to a timely historical anecdote.
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In 1896, two proper Boston women, Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall, became disgusted and concerned over the growing fashion trend that involved the wearing of bird feathers, and sometimes even whole, stuffed birds, on the hats of "stylish" ladies. In order to save endangered and potentially endangered birds, the two women urged other concerned women and men to educate the public and pass protective legislation by forming the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Hemenway and Hall also visited schools, encouraging children to join. Although the text is rather technical for a picture book, the style is lively and the colorful, humorous illustrations should help hold the interest of younger readers. An author's note gives background information and touches on the link between bird protection and women's suffrage.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
"How will women ever be taken seriously when they wear hats decorated with the feathers of dead birds." Minna Hall and Harriet Hemenway take action to stop this abominable practice by forming a club to protect the birds in 1896. This was the first informal meeting of the Audubon Society. Kathy Lasky and David Catrow have done a masterful job in turning this true story into a glorious picture book. Based on a true story, these 2 indomitable Bostonian women become role models for us all. Three Cheer for the Ladies!!!
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 4In an amusing picture-book format, Lasky tells the story of two strong-willed women who started the Audubon Society in Massachusetts around the turn of the century. When wearing dead birds as hat decorations became a raging fashion, Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna Hall were outraged. They contacted other ladies of fashion to start a club, named it after John James Audubon, and began the Bird Hat Campaign. The bird hats and their wearers look ridiculous, just as the cousins claim. The exaggerated expressions and postures of Catrow's figures bring humor to every page, but the serious business of political action comes through just the same. Lasky neatly includes the varied strategies that the women employed to achieve their purpose. Though equally determined, Harriet and Minna have distinctly different personalities. Most, but not all, of the incidents are based on actual events, which the author's note clearly explains. Like Rhoda Blumberg's Bloomers! (Bradbury, 1993), Lasky's title will entertain young readers while offering them a fascinating and little-known slice of history.Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786811649
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
05/28/1997
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Lexile:
AD870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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