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Home > Children's Books > Feathers for Peacock

cover of Feathers for Peacock

Available Now

at your local bookseller or your favorite online book retailer.

Feathers for Peacock
written by: Jacqueline Jules
illustrated by: Helen Cann
Subject(s): Age level:

Juvenile Fiction: Animals; Legends, Myths, Fables

Ages 4 and up

Format: Size / page count:


8" × 10" / 28 pages

ISBN: Date available:


April 2016



Long ago, when the world was brand new, all birds were naked. It wasn’t fair. Foxes had fur. Turtles had shells. Birds deserved warm coats, too. Disgruntled, they approach the first full spring moon for advice. Birds of all shapes and sizes attend the meeting. Everyone except Peacock. He arrives on the scene late, to find his friends covered with warm, colorful feathers. “Look at Peacock! He’s still naked!” All the birds stare at poor Peacock trembling in the cold night air. But the unexpected community response gives Peacock the biggest, most colorful coat of all.

Award-winning author Jacqueline Jules blends folktale motifs from around the world to offer an original explanation for why the peacock has such beautiful feathers. An appendix provides more information about peacocks. Helen Cann’s stunning illustrations give young readers fun opportunities to identify the colors and plant life of spring. Feathers for Peacock is a gently humorous tale of generosity and kindness for children.

Jacqueline Jules is the author of over two dozen books for children, including the award-winning Zapato Power series and Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain. A former school librarian and teacher, Jacqueline enjoys visiting schools to share her passion for reading and writing. She is a word person, who loves rearranging words on the page, the same way people have fun fitting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Helen Cann’s illustrations have graced the pages of almost thirty books. She has won several international awards and exhibited around the world. She loves to travel and has seen the Northern Lights, slept in an igloo, eaten reindeer with Sami herders, and journeyed 1,300 miles in a sailing boat across the North Atlantic searching for whales. Having painted in studios of all shapes and sizes, she now stirs up inspiration above the sugary smells of a milkshake shop in seaside Brighton, UK.
Awards & Honors
  • Winner of the 2016 USA “Best Books” Award (sponsored by USA Book News) in the “Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction” category
  • Silver Medal in the 2016 Midwest Book Awards for “Interior Design”

Reviews (hide/show)

“This lavishly illustrated work tells how all the birds helped Peacock get his beautiful tail. Under a snowy landscape naked birds huddle in burrows, trying to keep warm without feathers. They decide to ask the wise full moon what they should do in the spring, when they can venture back outside. The creamy moon is shocked at the sight of the naked birds under the midnight blue night sky and advises them to rub against the flowers first thing the next morning. Delighting in the riot of springtime colors, all the birds, except the still-sleeping peacock, pick up the colors of the cherry blossoms, tulips, and green grass. The early birds get the colors but agree to share their new feathers when the still-naked peacock stumbles into their celebration. That night the moon sees Peacock’s hodgepodge of borrowed feathers and surrounds him in moonbeams to create a fantastic tail. VERDICT: This delightful pourquoi tale will be a great addition to storytimes, and the detailed illustrations invite individual lingering and repeat visits.”
School Library Journal

Feathers for Peacock is illustrated by Helen Cann and provides a lovely story of Peacock, who is naked while his friends are covered in lovely feathers. Good reading skills or parental assistance will lend interest to the comparisons between Peacock and his fellow birds, who have different kinds of beaks and different appearances. When Peacock discovers his feathered friends covered in beautiful plumage for a party, it's almost more than he can bear. Can he, too, attain beauty? A lovely story of a naked dull bird who finds his true calling makes for an engrossing tale parents and kids will both love.”
Children's Bookwatch, a review publication of Midwest Book Review

“This origin story inspired by an Afro-Caribbean animal folktale emphasizes generosity . . . Vivid, detailed paintings enhance this lovely tale . . .
Booklist Online (from the American Library Association)

“A wintry tale of how the peacock got his colorful feathers and of the power of kindness  . . . [Helen] Cann's vivid paintings bring to life the colorful plumage and seasonal stages of the story, jewel colors enlivening both flowers and feathers. In an afterword, Jules provides further information on peafowl  . . . It's a charming tale of generosity . . .
Kirkus Reviews

Videos Related to the Book (hide/show)

The Book Trailer Video for
Feathers for Peacock

Watch the video below to get a visual summary of the pages in the book.

A sample spread from the book “Feathers for Peacock”, written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Helen Cann

A sample spread from the book Feathers for Peacock with text
by Jacqueline Jules and illustrations by Helen Cann.
These pages show the great satisfaction that comes from having fine feathers!

A sample spread from the book “Feathers for Peacock”, written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Helen Cann

Another spread from Feathers for Peacock. Now, it’s time for a party, but the question arises: What has happened to poor Peacock, who isn’t there?!

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