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The Perfect Nest
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The Perfect Nest

3.8 5
by Catherine Friend, John Manders (Illustrator)

It’s the perfect read-aloud! A flustered cat is on the verge of crying fowl in a farmyard story that will crack kids up.

Jack the cat is building the perfect nest. It’s bound to attract the perfect chicken, who will lay the perfect egg, which will make the perfect omelet. And sure enough, a chicken shows up ("¡Caramba!"), but so


It’s the perfect read-aloud! A flustered cat is on the verge of crying fowl in a farmyard story that will crack kids up.

Jack the cat is building the perfect nest. It’s bound to attract the perfect chicken, who will lay the perfect egg, which will make the perfect omelet. And sure enough, a chicken shows up ("¡Caramba!"), but so do a duck ("Sacré bleu!") and a goose ("Great balls of fire!"). Feathers get ruffled — and Jack gets much more than breakfast — in a funny tale rich in detail with a sweet final twist.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Jack the cat has built a perfect nest—dry and cozy and just the right size. Jack wants a chicken to choose this nest and lay a perfect egg, which he will then make into a perfect omelet. Sure enough, a chicken does take up residence and she lays a small egg, but before Jack can get his hands on it, a duck discovers the perfect nest. She lays a medium-size egg. Then a goose comes along. She pushes the other birds out of the nest and lays a large egg. Jack is delighted. Soon he will be eating three omelets. The three residents are not so cooperative, however. They all insist on sitting in the nest to cover the eggs. They squish and squabble for days. Jack tries to scare them away with cries of "Fire! Fire!" "Flood! Flood" and "Wolf! Wolf!" The chicken, the duck, and the goose will not move. Finally, he tricks them by telling them about a better nest on the next farm. His stomach is rumbling as he envisions omelets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Just as he reaches for the eggs, however, they begin to crack open. The baby birds immediately imprint on Jack and begin to demand a mother's attention. "Dry me." "Feed me." "Play, play, play." At first Jack tries to hide, but then he accepts his new role and crawls into the perfect nest with his three charges. Colorful illustrations contribute to the humor of the story, depicting a wide-eyed cat and rambunctious birds of various sizes. A fun choice for read-aloud time.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2
This highly comical yet heartwarming tale begins simply enough. Jack, a hungry farm cat, builds a perfect nest to attract the perfect chicken to lay a perfect egg for a delicious omelet. Everything is going even better than planned when he lures a chicken, a duck, and a goose, and each one lays a yummy egg. Unfortunately, Jack cannot convince any of them to leave the nest though he tries with cries of "Flood!" "Fire!" and "Wolf!" Finally he appeals to their greedy nature by telling of the better and empty nest at the farm down the road. They take off immediately, but before Jack can enjoy the eggs left behind, they hatch, and, to his horror, the chicks target him as mom. He can't possibly eat them. In the end, as he snuggles with the tired babies, he realizes how perfect his nest really is. This amusing tale gives each of the nesters a different nationality (French, American, Spanish) complete with accent. Manders's gouache illustrations are a perfect complement to the text. The bickering poultry; the hungry, then desperate, and finally horrified cat; the demanding chicks; and the auxiliary characters are all given wonderfully detailed expressions that can be laugh-out-loud funny. Varying perspectives in the illustrations give a nice sense of movement to the tale. The text gives the mood and action of the story and the art really brings it to life.
—Catherine CallegariCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Jack the cat is building the perfect nest, bound to attract the perfect chicken that will lay the perfect egg to make the perfect omelet. But Jack's plan hatches more than he expected. First a chicken, then a duck, then a goose, claims the nest, calls it perfect and refuses to leave. Cries of "FIRE!" "FLOOD!" and "WOLF" don't budge their ruffled feathers, until Jack hints the next farm over has an even better nest. Fowl free, he thinks; Jack's mouth waters in anticipation of an egg breakfast, lunch and dinner. But just as he reaches for the eggs, they hatch and immediately imprint on Jack as their father. To escape their peeping demands, he tries to hide, but the three fuzzy chicks find him and drag him back to the nest for warmth and sleep. Henpecked into a new paternal responsibility, Jack curls up with the chicks and realizes his nest is perfect. The gouache illustrations cluck with humor and details that add giggles: the face-on double spread of Jack in his bib overalls with whisk in one hand and spatula in the other; the wolf scene in which Jack wears a red riding hood; and Jack's egg-yolk eyes. Perfect fine-feathered fun. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 11.76(h) x 0.40(d)
AD490L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Catherine Friend is the author of the acclaimed memoir HIT BY A FARM: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BARN, as well as two Brand New Readers. She says she once had a duck and a chicken on her farm in southeastern Minnesota who insisted on sharing a nest. The author likes spending time at home, which is, for her,"the perfect nest."

John Manders has illustrated many children’s books, including HENRY AND THE BUCCANEER BUNNIES. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, two dogs, and a parrot that is fond of building nests out of cardboard (but has never laid an egg).

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The Perfect Nest 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Love_My_Nook_Times_3 More than 1 year ago
Borrowed this book from the library one week and ended up reading it 3 times before we actually returned it. Glad to have found it through the Barnes and Noble website. Great addition to our home library!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We were having a book fair at our school and out of all the books to choose from, this one was my favorite. I loved the characters and the sweet sentiment of the story. This book delights children of all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very cute and our girls loved it!