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WHEN AGNES CAWS by Candace Fleming


by Candace Fleming

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-689-81471-2
Publisher: Atheneum

The creators of Gabriella’s Song (1997) return with another robust heroine, who is in search of the elusive pink-headed duck. Young Agnes Peregrine, the world’s most talented bird caller, travels to the distant Himalayas, little knowing that close behind stalks nefarious Colonel Edwin Pittsnap, intent on adding a new trophy to his vast collection. Dressing Agnes and her mother, famed ornithologist Octavia Peregrine, in bloomers, high-button shoes and full, elegant dresses, Potter shows the intrepid birdwatchers in a variety of outdoorsy locales, and when the mustachioed villain at last appears, Agnes’s operatic clucks and whistles summon a horde of delicately detailed avian allies (labeled and described on the endpapers) to drive the birdnapper away. Having put in an appearance, the duck wings off, leaving an appreciative audience of two waving farewell. The end may fall a bit flat, but Agnes shows admirable spunk in the clutch, and children, bird lovers or not, will want to imitate her hoots and warbles. (Picture book. 6-7)