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Friday, May 27, 2005

Commonsense and Fowls written by Jane Cutler

Commonsense and Fowls is the sequel to Family Dinner, also written by Jane Cutler. In Commonsense and Fowls there is a neighborhood dispute over whether an elderly woman, Mrs. Krnc, should continue feeding the pigeons, or be banned from doing so. One of the neighbors, Mr. Gioia, is upset about pigeons leaving a mess all over the neighborhood - specifically on his car, sidewalk, lawn and garden, and house. He calls for a neighborhood meeting about the situation. Add in a few idealistic teens, a language and culture barrier, a reluctant reader, confusion over vowels and consonants as well as two children who seem to think they can diffuse the situation using cut outs of alphabetic letters and exploratory visits to the two neighbors who are at odds over the situation. Uncle Benson is an overall voice of reason, with help from his ten-year-old niece, Rachel, and reluctant reader, Brian. There is a reasonable solution to the predicament, one that satisfies all concerned. The fun, and the story, is in how to reach this solution.

This is a fun story about two children having more common sense than the adults, and teens, in the neighborhood. Also, how neighbors learn to help each other instead of becoming adversarial over seemingly minor incidents and misunderstandings.

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