Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Magic at the Bed and Biscuit

Magic at the Bed and Biscuit

Joan Carris
Illustrator:  Noah Z. Jones 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 10
Candlewick, 2011   ISBN: 978-0763643065

There is a new guest at the Bed and Biscuit. Grampa’s old friend Barnabas has dropped off his pet chicken, Malicia, so that he can go away for a well-earned vacation. Malicia is not just Barnabas’s dear friend, she also helps her master with his magic act, so she is doubly precious to him. Barnabas warns Grampa that Malicia is a handful, but Grampa is not worried. He is sure that Ernest the pig, Milly the cat and the other animals will be able to keep an eye on the elderly bird.

Ernest, Milly, and the other animals soon discover that Malicia is not an easy bird to get along with. She is used to living in an apartment in the city, and many aspects of country life not appeal to her. She does not understand why it is so quiet at night, or why Rory the rooster has to crow so loudly so early in the morning. Malicia announces that she is going  to have a talk with Rory about the noise he makes, and then she disappears. Literally. Clearly taking care of a magician’s chicken is not going to be easy.

After he sees this extraordinary feat, Ernest really starts to worry. How is Grampa going to keep his promise to Barnabas if Malicia can disappear with a flick of a feather? To be honest, Ernest finds all this magic business rather unnerving. When he hears that Malicia made some of Rory’s tail feathers disappear because Rory refused to be quiet, Ernest is appalled. A chicken who would do such a thing is not to be trusted. In act, a chicken who uses magic to pick on other animals is downright wicked.

Most of us have to face a bully at least once in their lives. In this book, children will see how a group of courageous animals have to face a chicken who is not only mean, but who also has magical abilities. What a dreadful combination! With touches of humor and wisdom, the author gives us a story that is both entertaining and meaningful.

This is the third title in the Bed and Biscuit series.

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