Sunday, December 9, 2012

Just plain fancy by Patricia Polacco

One of the things on my travel list this year was to visit an Amish community so I traveled to Pennsylvania on a tour and while we did not really see an Amish farm we did visit a Amish store and we did drive through the country side where we spied one horse and buggy.

The opening pages of Just Plain Fancy require very close inspection.  As Naomi and her father ride along a the road in Lancaster County a small truck passes them.  You must open this book to read what is printed on the back of the truck.

When Naomi and her sister Ruth go outside to tend the chickens they find an egg.  In an Amish community every thing must be plain.. plain clothes, plain living so that the focus of their lives in on god.  The problem for Naomi is that this egg is so different and it is certainly fancy. The children place the still warm egg under an obliging hen and in time it hatches and grows into something fancier than the girls could ever imagined.  Naomi is frighted her special bird will be shunned and so she tries to keep it hidden on the day the community come to a gathering at her home.  All is well until the barn door is left open.

The web site for this book is excellent with questions, background reading and recipes.  Also a little video. This will be a slightly obscure picture book for an Australian audience but it is well worth looking for.  The illustrations are perfect and the story might increase your curiosity (like mine) to know more about these people who live lives so different from ours in the busy modern world.

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