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

5.0 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 410 (What's this?)
  • 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: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a HUGE success with our 3rd graders. This story has the perfect balance of teaching a valuable lesson with just enough seriousness and humor. It ties in nicely with common core (resources, recyclables) and did I mention the students LOVED it.

In this story Agatha explains,

"Everything comes from something.
Nothing comes from nothing.
Just like paper comes from trees
and glass comes from sand.
An answer comes from a question
all you have to do is ask."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read this story to my grandchildren many times. I bought this book to share with others now that my grandchildren are all grown up.

When you find something you enjoy - share it with others.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author came to our school a few years ago, and I purchased this book in hard cover. She signed it for me, so I didn't want to put it in my school library. It is a wonderful book, so I purchased it in paperback for my students.
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Format: Paperback
I recently bought this book at a thrift store just for the interesting cover art. Boy was I surprised when I read it to my children that night when it turned out to be one of our very top favorite bed time stories! This book is beautifully written and the pictures are lovely. I wish more books were written like this. It seems a lot of books lack the detail, beautiful art and story depth (while still being easily understood by young children) that this book has. We read it often and I hear my little ones quoting "everything comes from something, nothing comes from nothing" all the time. I just hope the authentic knows that her book is still being discovered and loved by new generations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach teacher candidates at a local university and I always try to include trade books in my lessons to help them teach in the field. Use it as a model lessons.Cute story to teach natural resources
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