When Agnes Caws

Overview

The creators of the ALA Notable book "Gabriella's Song" team up again in this delightfully silly adventure about eight-year-old Agnes Peregrine, the best bird-caller in history. Full color.

When eight-year-old Agnes Peregrine, an accomplished birdcaller, travels with her parents to the Himalayas in search of the elusive pink-headed duck, she encounters a dastardly foe.

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Overview

The creators of the ALA Notable book "Gabriella's Song" team up again in this delightfully silly adventure about eight-year-old Agnes Peregrine, the best bird-caller in history. Full color.

When eight-year-old Agnes Peregrine, an accomplished birdcaller, travels with her parents to the Himalayas in search of the elusive pink-headed duck, she encounters a dastardly foe.

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Editorial Reviews

Christine Heppermann
When Agnes Caws is [a] fun exercise for the vocal cords.
Riverbank Review
Horn Book Magazine
Agnes Peregrine supersedes the talents of even her famous ornithologist mother. Talented at three, she "could do the courtship dance of the blue-footed booby"; ingenious at five, she "could imitate the flight of the yellow-bellied sapsucker"; prodigious at eight, Agnes shows her greatest skill as a world-class birdcaller. Illustrator Giselle Potter captures Agnes's joy in vignettes where she pee-pee-ohs, chac-ca-cha-cas, chup-lups, and hmmmmmmmms her way around the world. Expressive watery inks turn Agnes, her mother, and their feathered friends into sympathetic Victorian caricatures with tiny booted feet, round faces, and pointy noses. With foreshortened interior rooms and skewed exterior land-scapes, gently distorted perspectives add to the melodramatic spoofiness of this flibbertigibbet tale. It is high drama when Agnes and her mother are sent in search of the evasive pink-headed duck and encounter the villainous Colonel Pittsnap, who means to use Agnes to ensnare the prize bird for himself. A theatrical ending restores justice, and readers will have caws to cheer.
Susan P. Bloom
Gently distorted prespectives in the expressive illustrations add to the melodramatic spoofiness of this flibbertigibbet tale. It is high drama when young Agnes Peregrine a world-class birdcaller...and her mother are sent in search of the evasive pink-headed duck and encounter the villianous Colonel Pittsnaps. A theatrical ending restores justice, and readers will have caws to cheer.
The Horn Book Guide
From The Critics
The playful text...is perfectly matched by the fresh, witty paintings...
Publishers Weekly
WHEN AGNES CAWS Candace Fleming, illus. by Giselle Potter. S&S/Aladdin, $6.99 ISBN 0-689-85118-9. In a starred review of a quirky tale of a Victorian heroine with a talent for bird calling, PW said, "Young birdwatchers will cheer on this spunky heroine who outsmarts the evildoer, from the fact-filled endpapers to the feathery finale." Ages 4-8. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This delightful tale with a strong female heroine is also an accurate introduction to bird species around the world. Eight-year-old Agnes Peregrine's amazing ability to recreate bird calls makes her the World Bird Society's choice to find the "rarest, most elusive bird of all¾the pink-headed duck." Agnes and her ornithologist mother set out for the duck's Himalayan home, and an adventure that involves outwitting the wicked bird collector, Col. Edward Pittsnap. Potter has chosen a mottled creamy paper to hold the many vignettes and full-page, thinly painted, stylized drawings. The Victorian illustrations have an appropriate light-hearted delicacy, yet there is a dramatic aura as Agnes's skills evolve and the hunt intensifies. The end papers picture ten of the birds mentioned in the text; captions give ornithological information.
Library Journal
K-Gr 3-World-class birdcaller Agnes Peregrine treks through the Himalayas in search of an elusive species and-through luck and pluck-the girl gets her duck and foils her dastardly rival. Captivating artwork makes this a comedy of uncommon caliber. (Feb.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3--Agnes Peregrine, the young daughter of a noted ornithologist, has many talents, the most impressive of which is birdcalling. A natural mimic, she summons common and exotic species alike with her chirps and warbles. The World Bird Society learns of her prowess and elects to send Agnes and her mother to the Himalayas in search of the exceedingly rare pink-headed duck. The problem is that no one knows what sounds it makes. "Then I'd better get quacking," replies the determined youngster. Agnes inadvertently imitates the bird's call and succeeds in attracting the elusive specimen. As it turns out, the unscrupulous Colonel Edwin Pittsnap is also covetous of the duck and proceeds to steal it. Not satisfied, he demands that Agnes call some more birds for his collection. So she does... a lot more, all of which swarm and dive at the evil Pittsnap, sending him fleeing down the mountain in terror. Taken alone, this understated story may fall into the featherweight category, but in conjunction with its whimsical watercolors, this picture book is something to sing about. Potter's palette is predominately earth tones and her signature elongated figures are particularly expressive given the economy of line. Anyone looking for a plucky heroine, a humorous eco-adventure, a satisfying theme of greed being vanquished, and some glorious artwork should consider giving Agnes a caw.--Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
The creators of Gabriella's Song (1997) return with another robust heroine, who is in search of the elusive pink-headed duck. Young Agnes Peregrine, the world's most talented bird caller, travels to the distant Himalayas, little knowing that close behind stalks nefarious Colonel Edwin Pittsnap, intent on adding a new trophy to his vast collection. Dressing Agnes and her mother, famed ornithologist Octavia Peregrine, in bloomers, high-button shoes and full, elegant dresses, Potter shows the intrepid birdwatchers in a variety of outdoorsy locales, and when the mustachioed villain at last appears, Agnes's operatic clucks and whistles summon a horde of delicately detailed avian allies (labeled and described on the endpapers) to drive the birdnapper away. Having put in an appearance, the duck wings off, leaving an appreciative audience of two waving farewell. The end may fall a bit flat, but Agnes shows admirable spunk in the clutch, and children, bird lovers or not, will want to imitate her hoots and warbles. (Picture book. 6-7) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689851186
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.98 (w) x 9.94 (h) x 0.13 (d)

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