The Picture Book Buzz

Birds of a Feather - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Congratulations!

Danielle Hammelef


You're the winner of Once Upon Another Time!


Now on to this week's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick. Taking the phrase "birds of a feather, flock together" and imagining how a white peacock feels and fits into the flock, Sita Singh and Stephanie Fizer Coleman have created a beautiful story about acceptance, (both of oneself and others), friendship, and celebrating the wonders in this world.


Birds of a Feather


Author: Sita Singh


Illustrator: Stephanie Fizer Coleman


Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group (2021)


Ages: 4-8


Fiction


Themes:

Friendship, celebrating differences, self-love, kindness, and peacocks.


Synopsis:

Differences are gorgeously illustrated in a heartwarming picture book about a colorless peacock who learns to love himself in a jungle full of color.


Mo has always felt a little different. While all the other peacocks grew bright, bold, beautiful feathers in rich greens and vibrant blues, Mo's feathers grew in a snowy white. And even though Mo's friends try to include him in their playtime, Mo doesn't like to be reminded that he's different from his friends. But when a storm threatens to ruin the group's annual celebration, Mo must learn to stand tall, strut his stuff, and shake his brilliantly glowing tail feathers—in a way only he can—to help his friends and set things right.


From debut author Sita Singh, and brought to life by Stephanie Fizer Coleman, comes a story about finding strength in the things that make us different, and beauty in all its forms.


Opening Lines:

One spring morning, the Himalayan jungle welcomed a

new generation of peachicks, including one name Mo.


Each one was covered in a coat of yellow, or brown feathers.


Mo and his friends rested high and low, caught ticks and

termites, and screeched loud into the night.


Mo loved to roost, hunt, and screech. But what he loved most

of all was playing hide-and-seek.


What I LOVED about this book:

It's about BIRDS, if you know me, need I say any more? Well okay, I supposed I should. I do want to start with a caveat that this is a purely fictional story, with some factual elements interwoven, as most peacocks tend to be mostly solitary & aggressive toward each other. But honestly, how can you resist a book with this gorgeous opening spread of little peachicks playing hide-and-seek?

Text © Sita Singh, 2021. Image © Stephanie Fizer Coleman, 2021.


The next summer, when the peachicks had grown into peacocks and peahens, Mo stood out. But although from crown to toe, "his feathers shone white," Mo and the other peacocks continued to do "everything together." For Mo, his inability to hide and lack of bright feathers began to weigh on him. His friends' reassurances - "You're still a peacock!," and "Birds of a feather groom together!" -

Text © Sita Singh, 2021. Image © Stephanie Fizer Coleman, 2021.


work at first, until the ANNUAL DANCE IN THE RAIN is announced. I adore the whimsy that Sita Singh and Stephanie Fizer Coleman add to the peacocks preening and preparation for the dance.

Text © Sita Singh, 2021. Image © Stephanie Fizer Coleman, 2021.


Unable to see beyond what he didn't have, Mo felt different, alone, and depressed. Hiding among the trees, he watches as the dance begins and a dark storm reduces visibility, causing havoc. Then a flash of lightning reveals . . .


To see this glorious spread, check out Sita's interview on Monday (here). The ending beautifully wraps up this 'celebrate your differences,' friendship story. An author's note about Sita's experiences with peacocks in India and fun peacock facts round out the book. Overall, this is a beautiful book which acknowledges and validates feelings of difference, while encouraging acceptance (by oneself and others), friendship, and finding your own gifts.


Resources:

- try a couple of ways to make your own peacocks (in any color you like) (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/627407791830134853/) and (https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/peacock-crafts-and-activities/)

- write a story, or draw a picture, of a time you felt different. What or who made you feel better?

- check out these book based activities and coming teacher's guide (http://www.singhsita.com/activities).


If you missed it, be sure to check out Monday's joint interview with Sita Singh (here).


This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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