The Crane and the Peacock
Pastor, Boots S. A
The presentation in this large-format pamphlet is creative and artistic. The sixteen pages alternate regularly, with full-page colored illustrations on the left and the texts in both English and Tagalog on the right with a smaller illustration. The scene created by the first pages is that of a rehearsal for a ballet or operatic production. In fact, the title of the opera is the title of this fable. In an early backstage scene, the rotund owl has his mask off and is talking on a cell-phone. One page later he is either yawning or enjoying a snack backstage. A highly imaginative illustration on 9 has the crane flying from a string against a background of a cat silhouette, a garden hose, a birdbath, a faucet, and a peacock who, like the crane, is one-twentieth of the size of the cat. The peacock, after his failures to fly, is so embarrassed that for several days he would not emerge from his dressing room, which of course has a star on its door! The moral may be less trenchant here than in other books of this series: Do not be too proud with what you have, for it may not always give you the advantage. The back cover folds out. The inside back-cover contains eleven punch-out figures and three tree props for a shoebox ballet. The activity page here asks a reader to color and match each of eleven birds to an appropriate dancer. This book is apparently one of six in the set.