Elvis Hornbill, International Business Bird

Steve Shepard, Author Henry Holt & Company $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1617-8
When this book's narrator and his wife move to Africa, they adopt a baby hornbill and name it after Elvis Presley. The parents' hopes for the bird (``I wanted my son to become a singing star'') and the bird's interests (``Elvis is computer literate'') do not mesh, as the adopted creature wants to become a business manager. The potentially interesting part of the story, a bird that eats grasshoppers whole and has an interest in figures, is continually distanced by an unwieldly emphasis on the father and his hopes for the bird's musical future. Tiresome financial matters--Elvis figuring out how much tax the couple owes the federal government or putting them on a budget in hopes that they will open a retirement account--are too much in evidence and of virtually no interest to young readers. Dark chalk drawings with a distinct African influence are intriguing, but will unfortunately not be sufficient to impress children. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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