cover image Petook: An Easter Story

Petook: An Easter Story

Caryll Houselander. Holiday House, $16.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0681-4

Petook the rooster is very happyhe and Martha the hen have just become the proud parents of 12 of the yellowest, fluffiest, brightest-eyed chicks ever born. When he learns that a boy is walking through the garden toward Martha and the chicks, Petook frantically runs to protect his family. He need not have worried; the boy is kind and entranced by the chicks. Many years later, Petook spends a restless night and wakes at dawn to see three crosses high on the distant hill of Calvary. He doesn't know, of course, that one of the men being crucified is the same boy who visited Petook's family so long ago. On Easter morning, three days later, a new brood of chicks hatches, and once again Petook crows for joy. This tale is one of the most evocative Easter stories ever written; it conveys not only the joy of new life but also the simplicity and gentleness of a boy who grew up to be a great leader. As in his earlier illustrations for religious stories, dePaola proves himself to be a master at blending religious reverence with familiar details. The sun-drenched colors, accented with vibrant reds and yellows, reflect the serenity of the story and subtly draw the reader's attention to the beauty and inner message of Easter. Ages 5-8. (April)