Feathers and Fools by Mem Fox

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Synopsis

Long ago and far away, in a rambling garden beside a clear blue lake, two flocks of birds began to fear each other for their differences. Their fear grew, and soon the birds became enemies, hoarding great quantities of weapons to protect themselves--until panic struck and the chance for peace seemed lost forever. This haunting modern fable reminds readers that with each generation there is renewed hope for understanding and lasting peace. “Beautifully illustrated, the message is appropriate and necessary for children of all ages.”--Children’s Book Review Service
 

About Mem Fox

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Australian writer, Mem Fox was born on March 5th, 1946 in Melbourne. At the age of six months, she and her parents who were missionaries moved to Zimbabwe and she attended the mission school there. At the age of eighteen, she left Zimbabwe and attended a drama school in London. She eventually returned to Australia where she was a college professor. She held the position as Associate Professor, Literacy Studies, in the School of Education at Flinders University, South Australia. Fox is considered Australia's most popular children's author. Her title Possum Magic, a title dedicated to her daughter, is the best-selling picture book in Australia. It was also named a Highly Commended Book by the Children's Book Council of Australia and Best Children's Book in the 1984 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards. Night Noises was a Notable Children's Book in Language Arts, and a 1990 Horn Book Fanfare selection. It was also named by Redbook magazine as one of the ten best picture books of 1989. Other titles written by Fox include Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Time for Bed, Koala Lou, Wombat Divine, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Hello Baby!, A Giraffe in the Bath (co-written with Olivia Rawson), Count Goats!, and The Little Dragon. Fox has written over twenty picture books for children and several others for adults. Other awards received by Fox include the 1990 Dromkeen Medal for distinguished services to children's literature, a 1991 Advance Australia Award for her outstanding contribution to Australian literature and a medal in the 1993 Australia Day Honours awards for services to the cultural life of Australia. Although writing is her profession now, teaching is her first love. In addition to writing, she is an international literacy consultant who is in great demand to speak at literacy conferences nationally and internationally. No Bio
 
Published January 1, 1989 by Ashwood House. 36 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Feathers and Fools

Kirkus Reviews

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When the peacocks note that swans can swim and fly, they irrationally fear that they might be forced to swim and fly, too, and prepare to defend themselves.

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Publishers Weekly

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This powerful allegory portrays the dire reactions of a pride of magnificent peacocks and a flock of elegant swans who cannot see beyond their differences. Upon noticing that the swans can fly

Apr 01 1996 | Read Full Review of Feathers and Fools

Publishers Weekly

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PW said of this allegorical tale of war between swans and peacocks, ""The text's pointed poetry will sink directly into children's hearts, while the mysteries [depicted in] the sophisticated acrylics offer possibilities for contemplation and discovery."" Ages 6-9.

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Publishers Weekly

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Upon noticing that the swans can fly and swim, the proud but insecure peacocks are infected by a blind fear that incites a build-up of arms: ""a great quantity of feathers which they sharpened into arrows."" The swans respond in like manner, and the two species hurl toward mutual destruction.

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Common Sense Media

Author Mem Fox makes a point to name the most aggressive peacock "the first-and-most-foolish" and demonstrates in elegant prose how the follies of human nature -- such as prejudice, gossip, and aggression -- can lead to the despair of having to live in fear and, ultimately, face the ravages of war.

Jan 01 2000 | Read Full Review of Feathers and Fools

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