|Leave it to Plum! (Plum!)
Author: Phelan, Matt
Every day at the Athensville Zoo the peacocks are allowed to wander freely among the visitors, delighting and guiding kids and grownups alike, and kind, curious Plum is the peacock most proud of their responsibility.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.60
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 515708
School Library Journal (04/01/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/06/22)
The Hornbook (00/09/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2022 Gr 3–7—In this alliterative zoo tale, peppy purple peacock Plum befriends Jeremy, a sad and solitary street kitty, who returns the favor by saving all the peafowl from a frightening fate. It seems that nefarious ningbing Itch, a mouselike marsupial aiming to get the feathered flock ejected, has concocted a scheme to frame the flightless fowl for a series of theft, and then dispatch them via an "accident" on the zoo's closed-off elevated monorail. Fortunately, Plum manages to send a signal that brings his feline ally racing to the rescue in the nick of time. And being grateful, as well as the most beneficent of birds, Plum goes on to hook Jeremy up with lonely new zookeeper Lizzie. Perhaps Phelan can be forgiven for portraying the tails of both peacocks and peahens with the same calligraphic swirls, as the expressive ink-and-wash animal portraits that pack his short chapters of well-paced narrative are done in a fanciful style. Progressing readers weaned on similarly sited anthropomorphic shenanigans like Diane Redfield Massie's Baby beebee bird or Philip Stead's Amos McGee tales will find their suspicions that it really is all happening at the zoo further confirmed. VERDICT A buoyant tale for younger middle grade readers, with a mild dose of danger for spice and an extroverted protagonist on a mission to "mingle, guide, delight."—John Edward Peters - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2022 Plum the peacock is an exuberant ambassador at the Athensville Zoo, part of the grounds' long tradition of free-roaming peacocks. Plum and the rest of his flock are charged with welcoming and interacting with the human visitors, happily hopping into selfies or helpfully pointing the way to exhibits. But trouble is brewing in the form of disgruntled ningbing Itch, a tiny Australian marsupial who seethes about the unfairness of his own captivity while the foolish birds are free to roam. He conspires to displace the peacocks and take over as a more educational ambassador, and it’s up to Plum to sort out the schemes and keep the zoo humming. The story is a hoot, combining the hilarity of chatty zoo animals with more somber undertones of loneliness, though everyone has found their perfect place by the conclusion. Plum is a chipper and generous, if not sweetly oblivious, guide through the proceedings, while the ningbing is delightfully menacing, and cartoonish sketches enhance the lighthearted tone. Young readers will relish this splendid hullabaloo at the zoo. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.