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Fur and Feathers    by Janet Halfmann & Laurie Allen Klein order for
Fur and Feathers
by Janet Halfmann
Order:  USA  Can
Arbordale, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Sophia dreams of winds strong enough to remove the fur and feathers from her animal friends. What is she to do? Generous and caring, Sophia covers them with her own garments, of course! Alas, they are not happy with her clothes, as each of their bodies is so different. Now, what to do? Sophia decides to sew 'the right coat' for each animal, according to what they 'need and why'. All the accoutrements Sophia needs are in Grandma's loaded sewing basket, bulging 'with furs, feathers, and sequins', and that's not all.

Sophia tells the animals (lots of them, and I mean lots!): 'I can make new coats for all of you; just like your old ones ... Form a line and tell me what you need.' First is Polar Bear, who needs white fur for warmth and the ability to blend in with snow. Duck quacks 'I need lots of feathers to help me fly'. Fish expresses his need for scales with slime. Snake hisses his requiremnent for dry scales. The tricky one is a 'prickly coat' for Porcupine's protection - Sophia's solution is pins and needles. She even meets the need of tiny-sized, tiny-voiced Snail for a small 'striped shell'.

Sophia adds special touches (like a 'little red heart' behind Polar Bear's ear) to each sewn outfit, but none of the animals notice. After a long night of dream sewing, Sophia's family announce a morning visit to the Zoo, where there are surprises in store for Sophia. Among the splendiferous illustrations in this book, I am especially attracted to a whirlwind of mixed animals, spinning so fast that their coats 'fly everywhere ... The animals shiver in their bare skin'!

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