When Agnes Caws

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9780689814716: When Agnes Caws

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 Colonel Edwin Pittsnap, a dastardly foe. By the creators of Gabriella's Song. Jr Lib Guild.

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Review:

"Agnes Peregrine, daughter of the well-known ornithologist, Professor Octavia Peregrine, was a real birdbrain. / At the age of three, Agnes could do the courtship dance of the blue-footed booby. / At the age of five, she could imitate the flight of the yellow-bellied sapsucker." And that was even before her true talent was revealed--birdcalling! As the media flocks around the child wonder, the World Bird Society votes to send 8-year-old Agnes and her mother to the far-off slopes of the Himalayan Mountains to try to lure (and therefore officially spot) the elusive pink-headed duck.

Little does the Peregrine team know that the crafty, conscience-challenged hunter Colonel Pittsnap would be waiting for Agnes in the mountains... waiting for her to lure the rare pink-headed duck into his conniving clutches! (Which, due to her peeping prowess, she accomplishes successfully.) As soon as the duck appears, Pittsnap catches it in his net and darts away. Needless to say, Agnes thinks this turn of events is for the birds. She charges after him, and, in a mighty confrontation on a distant slope, Agnes does what she does best--she calls hundreds of birds from all over the world to buzz, bombard, nip, poke, peck, and scold the colonel in a Hitchcock-like scene gracefully described as "feathered air."

Created by Candace Fleming and illustrator Giselle Potter (the same team behind the lovely, award-winning Gabriella's Song), When Agnes Caws shares its predecessor's timeless, magical quality as well as extraordinary artwork. Young readers will love the story of a can-do talented 8-year-old, as well as the endpapers that show a variety of bird species from the blue-footed booby to the now extinct pink-headed duck. ("The last official sighting was in 1936, but in the 1960s a group of bird-watchers claimed to have spotted one in Tibet.") Great bird sounds ("Cawaak! Caweek! Eek! Eek! Eek!"), high drama, and engaging, action-packed illustrations make this original picture book an excellent choice for story hour. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 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
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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