PRETTY POLLY by Dick King-Smith

PRETTY POLLY

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A parrot is too expensive, so Abby decides to teach one of the farmyard hens to talk. Patience is rewarded: "Pretty Polly" first speaks at four months and soon has a large vocabulary whose use, like a parrot's, may happen to be relevant but is basically random. Still, Abby loves Polly and is fully engaged in her life's natural dramas. When a fox attacks, Polly is the sole survivor among her siblings; Dad, who persists in seeing her money-making potential (though he has agreed that Polly belongs to Abby), provides a cockerel and a new generation is hatched, but none with Polly's gift. The rumor of a talking hen gets out; there are encounters with a journalist and an elderly duke, who imagines that Abby is an extraordinary ventriloquist. The family's proper respect for his grace, tempered with sensible egalitarianism, provides some humor, as does Abby's little brother Bob, whose reasonable misuse of language contrasts delightfully with Polly's parroting. All in all, a typical King-Smith treat, with a well-realized British farm setting, amusing dialogue, and an appealing premise developed with logic and good humor. Illustrations not seen; unfortunately, the jacket art is rather wooden in style and differs in detail from the text. (Fiction. 5-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-517-58606-1
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1992




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