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Agatha's Feather Bed: Not Just Another Wild Goose Story Hardcover – June 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers; First Edition edition (June 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561450081
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561450084
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 10.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Agatha, a sagacious old lady, sells her woven wares and imparts knowledge to all, "especially children: Everything comes from something, / Nothing comes from nothing ." This maxim reaches "six naked geese," who are chilly and demand the return of their feathers from Agatha's feather bed. Though "a little down in the mouth," Agatha promises a solution in three days. (The geese, meanwhile, register at the "Down Town Motel" where they "took a gander in the mirror.") Agatha's solution is inspired, as is Deedy's playful yarn. From its simple beginning--"Do you see that little shop sandwiched between two skyscrapers?"--to its intriguing conclusion--"Where do goose eggs come from, anyway?"--this finely crafted collaboration abounds with information and whimsy. It also teems with puns and word play, much of which may be of greater appeal to grownups than to the book's intended audience. Seeley's atmospheric illustrations are bathed in lavender, giving them a properly old-fashioned tone. Stylized patchwork borders contain examples of Agatha's truism--a flax plant stands by a bolt of linen, a stalk of wheat by a loaf of bread. A ducky book. Ages 4-10.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-- An old woman named Agatha owns a shop in which she "spins yarn and weaves cloth which she sells." One day a boy comes in with his mother and Agatha explains the origin of such things as silk, cotton, wool, etc. However, the main story does not begin until Agatha goes home that evening and is visited by six naked geese who are looking for their feathers--the feathers that are in her new feather bed. Agatha sends the geese away, telling them to return in three days. Although written with the intent of teaching young children that "everything comes from something," this message-laden picture book takes on too many ideas and ends up being overwhelming. Deedy also tries to incorporate puns into the text that appear one after another and often seem forced and out of context. Seeley's illustrations are the book's only redeeming quality. Drawn realistically in colored pencil using a variety of soft dark colors, each one is surrounded by a simple colorful border. However, the pictures in those borders often contain elements that are irrelevant to the the plot. All in all, this is unsuccessful as fiction and as nonfiction. --Rachel Fox, Port Washington Public Library, NY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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I have read this story to my grandchildren many times.
S. H. Towhey
I have read it to first through fourth graders in our neighborhood elementary school who loved it also.
June J. Willis
Excellent children's story to spark discussion, well-written and beautiful art as well!
Ruth A. Bollen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ...Loggie... on August 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
If everything comes from something, where do the feathers in a feather bed come from? This dilemma (or rather the dilemma of six naked geese) confronts Agatha as she snuggles down for the first time in her brand new feather bed. The geese whose feathers she's sleeping on are not happy with the current state of events, and tell Agatha so. Seeing the justice of the geese's complaints, Agatha makes the geese warm, fluffy white coats to wear until their feathers grow back.

This story loses much of its charm in a summary. The best part of the story is the idioms it uses. Agatha is a spinner and a storyteller: "She can spin a yarn better than anyone I know". That quote is just one of the many examples of the common phrases that take on a new meaning when talking to geese. That is what makes this book so special. Other than that, the story is told well; it flows nicely and is easy to read out loud.

The illustrations are beautiful, but different. They abound with detail, and on each page is a box with a picture of a raw material, and what it is made into. (Cotton boll, cotton. Dinosaurs, fossil fuel.) The pictures are very expressive, very detailed, beautiful, and fun. A great story.

Loggie-log-log-log
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christina M Winslow on June 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've used this book in the classroom and have found students telling me when we've discovered where something comes from it's just like in Agatha's Featherbed. The book is remembered and students love the story. The ending comes as a wonderful surprise. What a wonderful modern day O'Henry adaptation for the Gift of the Magi. This book could be used for comparison to the O'Henry story. I read this book with my students year after year and each time I enjoy it a little more. It is too bad it is out of print. I think it's a remarkable book full of humor. It spurs students to inquire about where things come from. The author should know she's made an impression on me as well as my students. Thank you Ms. Deedy. The illustrations rank as a Caldecott. Thank you Ms. Seeley.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Agatha's Featherbed is a book laced with rich humor nad whimsical puns about the realtionship between a shopkeeper and six geese. There is a wonderous moral and that is intertwined within the pages. The author is a charming lady who animates through her stories the old world charm and the new world techniques.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
Agatha loves to tell children were things come from, but she almost forgets that "nothing comes from nothing" when she orders a new feather bed. Things get really interesting when when 6 naked geese show up to talk to her about it! The story is thought provoking, and the illustrations enrich the story in a beautiful and informative way. Why this book did not win a Caldecott is beyond me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book holds the child's interest, as the story is interesting and the pictures are well-done and amusing. Even the adult enjoys the subtle jokes placed within the story. And the message for the children is a universal one. FIVE STARS
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Format: Hardcover
I love, love, love this book. I love to read it to children. I love to read it myself! I have given at least six of them as baby shower gifts and have just ordered another one to give. Children love it for its fun story; but,as they get older, they keep liking it on different levels--just for its beautiful illustrations alone, for its word play (which they understand more and more of as they progress so there is always some "new in it", for the side pictures that teach us where things come from, and so much more. As an adult, I never get tired of reading it as I do so many other children's books -- even good ones -- that I feel like I could recite in my sleep. If you were allowed to give 10 stars, I would give this book that many! I cannot say enough for it. Sadly, it is usually not available in bookstores anymore...BUT, Amazon has it!
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By sesie on May 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best children's (adult) books ever. She is an amazing story teller and this is one of her best.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a bookseller in a small resort town when I found this treasure. My daughter was about 3 at the time, a bit young to "get it" but it became her favorite story. We counted the cats on every page, the reading became very interactive with her questions. There were nighs that I read the book, at her request, 3 times. A fabulous learning, interactive story. Let it rip and make it fun! A must have in every child's library!
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