Reviews for Three Hens and a Peacock

Booklist Reviews 2011 April #1
When a box containing a live peacock gets thrown off a truck onto the Tuckers' farm, the usual farm-animal routines get thrown off, too. The peacock attracts notice from passers-by with his feather shaking and screeches, which brings more egg-buying customers to the farm. Resentment soon develops in the henhouse: "That lazy peacock gets all the attention and we do all the work." The resolution comes from an old hound, who teaches the hens and peacock a gentle lesson about appreciating your own talents. Not exactly a revelatory message, but Laminack's storytelling is brisk, and Cole's cartoon illustrations are vivid and comical. The peacock is a striking creature that outshines the three hens even after they get "all gussied up" with necklaces, bracelets, and hair ribbons to attract attention. The final image shows another box falling out of a truck, evidently carrying another exotic animal--though, with any luck, the creatures have already learned their lesson. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
The hens throw a fit about the farm's preening newcomer: "That lazy peacock gets all the attention and we do all the work!" When Dog suggests the hens try being the flashy ones, they (and the peacock) all end up with a greater appreciation for one other. Cole's illustrations depicting the deluded hens in their farm finery rule the roost. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 February #2
All is calm on the Tuckers' farm. Cows are quietly chewing cud, hens are clucking and pecking, old hound's lazing on the porch. Only an occasional customer at the produce stand disturbs the routine—until a crate drops out of a passing truck and out pops a peacock! It's his first time on a farm, and he has no idea what to do. He does what comes naturally, and before long, his strutting and shrieking draws attention. Business at the farm stand booms…but the hens are jealous. They do all the work, and that upstart peacock gets all the attention. Peacock wants to be useful, so old hound suggests the two groups switch jobs. The hens glam it up with beads and bows, and peacock does his darndest to lay eggs. No one's successful. Thanks to old hound, everyone learns a lesson about sticking to their strengths. Laminack's tale of barnyard envy is a fine addition to farm fables, but it's Cole's signature watercolor, ink, and pencil cartoon illustrations that charm here. His frenetically posing chickens will inspire giggles, as will old hound's sardonic looks. Good farm fun. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 January #4

What might have been an ordinary be-yourself story is enhanced by Laminack's (Snow Day!) surprisingly thoughtful storytelling. Three hens on the Tuckers' farm are sick with envy when a peacock shows up and attracts the attention of passersby, drawing customers and electrifying the farm's roadside stand business. Laminack characterizes the hens with a fine ear for their Golden Girls outrage; they sound quite human. "We do all the work around here," fumes one. "I'd like to see that peacock lay one single egg." "Exactly," agrees another. "He just struts around screaming." The hens trade places with the peacock, dressing up in beads and ribbons and trying to attract customers--with predictable results. The warmth of the story is a bit overshadowed by the goggle eyes of Cole's (One Pup's Up) barnyard characters; the illustrations go for big guffaws and slapstick instead, and largely succeed. The final spreads--which suggest further complications with the arrival of an ostrich--add a final touch of humor, effectively keeping the book from feeling message-heavy. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 April

K-Gr 3--On a beautiful summer day, a crate falls off a truck, and out pops a colorful peacock that wanders down the road and changes life on the Tuckers' farm. His fancy feathers draw the attention of passers-by, who now stop to buy eggs, corn, and tomatoes. Jealousy and drama erupt in the henhouse, so the hound strikes a deal between the feuding birds to switch jobs. While the peacock unsuccessfully attempts to lay eggs, the hens strut their stuff roadside, and go unnoticed. Once they return to what they do best, all seems quiet, until another crate falls off a truck by the Tuckers' farm and a new surprise arrives, which will create lots of guessing and discussion among children. Cole's engaging illustrations in watercolor, ink, and colored pencils are bold and humorous and explode with color. The three hens and peacock express their confusion, anger, and shock with popping eyes, pointy beaks out of joint, and plenty of wing flapping. Endpages are decorated with a delicate peacock feather motif. The huffy hens dressed in jewelry and hair ribbons as they try to attract attention are sure to evoke giggles at storytime or in a one-on-one setting. But the ending will amp up the interest and excitement as the crate with a little clue breaks open. A delightful choice for schools and public libraries.--Anne Beier, Clifton Public Library, NJ

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