Meet Slipper, Feathers, and Hog. Three of the rarest birds ever known to humankind. Now people say birds of a feather tend to flock together, but not on the Beach by the Rock. That's where these three unique friends meet for the first time, performing risky feats for one another and then later for the hundreds of folks who gather to watch. But when the stunts of the most gifted and eager-to-please bird are overshadowed by the sheer beauty of his best friend, an attempt to borrow back the limelight nearly ends in disaster. Why do these birds stunt fly at all? What do they expect from the skies, one another, and the crowds below? And just what are the people on the beach looking for from them? It takes a flight of imagination, the courage to be oneself, and the support of good friends to find out.
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Comedy godfather Bill Cosby teams up with his artistic daughter Erika for a quintessentially Cosby-style story about the importance of being oneself--albeit a slightly weird, if playfully illustrated, tale involving the antics of a couple acrobatic seabirds.
The "Cos" begins in trademark form, assuming the narrative voice of a bird named Blank, but who goes by the name Slipper (wha...?): "This is not my story, but I can tell you why I'm the bird to tell it. You see, I was the bird. I mean THE BIRD." Crowds gather by a place called the Beach by the Rock to watch a bird named Feathers do his high-flying best: "Feathers has a wingspan as large as a full-grown eagle's. And when he flutters those flappers of his, they sparkle brighter than a peacock's tail.... All Feathers had to do was swoop down from on high and the people would go, "Ooh". When he glided inland like a 747 approaching a runway, people would go, "Aah". But Feathers' friend--an ugly-looking "dude named Hog"--has to work harder for the crowd's attention, and that leads to trouble. How will these two friends balance their desire to please with their loyalty to each other? Leave it to the Cos to explain.
As with many celebrity endeavours, you can't help but notice the rough edges here--charming Cosbian rambling is one thing, of course, but this "one of life's little fables" could have benefited from some tighter focus and fewer unnecessary (and weird) details. The narrator, for example, has "stink plants" growing under his armpits--literally, geraniums--and a convoluted moral at the end might leave young readers scratching their little heads. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes, Amazon.com
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