The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend and John Manders
|The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend and John Manders|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: A boisterous farmyard adventure with decent artwork and an amusing story and a message of inter-national and inter-species peace, it will appeal particularly to fans of "home on the range" style; and it's probably otherwise better left borrowed from a library.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 40||Date: March 2007|
|Publisher: Walker Books Ltd|
Jack the Cat is pining for the perfect omelette (or, omelet, to keep the original spelling). And so he decides to build the perfect nest, to attract the perfect fowl, to lay the perfect egg, to provide him with the essential ingredient. His nest is so good that soon there is three birds squabbling over the tenure and the feathers start to fly. Eventually, Jack is left with three eggs of various sizes and just as he starts to imagine the delicious possibilities of omelettes varying by size and time of day, the eggs start to ominously crack...
The Perfect Nest has boisterous drawings, and funny animal characters in dynamically rendered scene settings. The story is amusing (though, considering that cats are more known for their bird eating than egg eating proclivities, Jack's final dilemma seems a tad spurious) and the expressions on the animal faces are well conveyed, particularly Jack's slobbery expectation of the omelette and his utter terror at the appearance of three orphaned chicks pestering him for care and entertainment. The ending is rather sugary sweet, but preaches the undoubtedly worthy right message of peaceful coexistence of different nationalities (or species, as it may be).
And yet, there is something distinctly underwhelming about The Perfect Nest . It might be the various species of poultry speaking in a mockery of French (duck) and Spanish (hen) in addition to redneck-American (duck), with Carambas & Sacre Bleus accompanying "Great Balls of Fire". It might be the whole "home on the range" type of setting that I have no particular connection to.
The artwork is better then the text, but the text is fine (though I would like to see the spelling of the narrative part adjusted to the British market). Or it might simply be that there are so many good picture books out there that, unless your child has a specific insatiable farmyard fixation, there is nothing in The Perfect Nest to particularly recommend it, although by all means borrow or buy it if the story and artwork visible on the cover appeal. Suitable for children aged from about 2 to 5.
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend and John Manders at Amazon.com.
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