Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374343651, 32pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2001
Another orginal picture-book fairy tale
Larky Mavis, an eccentric soul, finds three peanuts in the middle of the road. The first tastes like liver and onions. The second, like bread pudding. And the third -- well, inside the third is a baby. Larky Mavis decides to name it Heart's Delight and to take care of it. She shows it to the teacher, and he says it looks like a worm. She asks the parson to christen it, but he thinks it's a mouse. And when she asks the doctor to help her teach the baby to say "Ma," he thinks it's a deformed bird. And indeed, Heart's Delight has sprouted wings. As Mavis's charge grows and grows, readers will recognize that Heart's Delight is something akin to an angel, and the townspeople also realize that it is something special, but they want to take it away. And as much as Larky Mavis tries to protect Heart's Delight, it is the peanut-shell baby who turns out to be Mavis's savior in the end.
This unusual tale is illustrated by the author in lively watercolors.
Brock Cole's previous picture book, Buttons, was a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Picture Book and the Top of the List of Booklist's Editors' Choices. He lives in Buffalo, New York.
"Cole delivers a lyrical and ever-relevant picture book . . . The tale's enigmatic quality elevates it above a simple moral talke, and the scenes conveying Mavis's kindness will win sympathy for her. Cole draws material from fables, fairy tales, and mythic archetypes to create a story that will resonate deeply with readers." --Starred, Publishers Weekly