Monday, February 15, 2010

Perky Pelican washes ashore

Hope you had a happy Valentine's Day (or Singles Awareness Day) and are now enjoying President's Day as well.

For this entry, I am returning to a children's book and find myself in a conundrum over whether or not to expand into more works by this particular author. Let me know what you think...
Perky Pelican: A Tale of a Lively Bird by Suzanne Tate is #18 of a 30 book "Nature Series" as she calls it. The illustrations (by James Melvin) are simple and colorful enough, although not in an Eric Carle sense. Interestingly enough, Tate also has teaching guides and sticker books available for most of her stories too; that's thinking ahead I guess. This story is about a young pelican that hatches, eventually leaves the nest, and must learn to find food for itself, er, himself. Tate has a flair for anthropomorphizing her characters in a way that pushes beyond child-like enthusiasm; compared to many of my scientifically sound friends, I am fairly forgiving in this department. Now, let's be honest... pelicans are funny birds with oddly shaped bodies and c'mon, if you've ever seen one walk, or even "run" it is down right hilarious.
On a positive note, Tate brings up some interesting things about the birds, i.e. chicks sticking their heads into their mother's mouths, the trials of a young shorebird figuring out how to dive and catch fish. As a matter of fact, the book is going on quite well until... Perky Pelican gets lazy.
[SPOILER ALERT!!] Perky decides to start mooching off of the local fishermen's bycatch and the hand feeding and begging behavior begins. I actually purchased this book to teach a class of 4-5 year olds about birds in Florida, and decided NOT to use it because of the downturn on those last several pages. I just could not get myself to pass on the bad practices encouraged by the book. If you are going to buy a kid's book to share with others, spend the extra 3 minutes to finish reading the whole thing before dropping your cash. There are too many good books out there to waste your hard earned money.

RATING: ~ (1 out of 5 waves) ouch... it had real potential and fell to disappointing lows

So here I sit all broken hearted, and wondering if I dare to give Suzanne Tate's many works another shot. I mean, she has written 29 other books, so something has got to be catching on there, right?

Enjoy your greeting card holidays whether alone or with others, and remember to always take a little time off for yourself. And if you are still sad, look on the bright side - chocolates are on sale today!


No comments: