Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Three Hens and a Peacock

by Lester L. Laminack
illustrated by Henry Cole

A hilarious read-aloud favorite about some foolish farm animals who decide to trade roles—and discover just how hard it is to do someone else’s job. From award-winning author Lester Laminack and celebrated illustrator Henry Cole.

“Good farm fun.” Kirkus Reviews

The Tuckers’ farm is a peaceful place where everyone has a job and no one complains. That is, until a hapless peacock falls off the back of a passing truck and stirs things up. Soon, customers are flocking to the farm to see what all the fuss is about. But the hens don’t like the newcomer getting attention while they do all the hard work. When a wise old hound sees the problem, he helps orchestrate a job swap.

What follows is the riotous tale of three hens who get in way over their feathered heads, and one very distressed peacock who just can’t figure out how to lay an egg.

Lester Laminack has created a comical look at envy, finding your strength, and what happens when we underestimate the value of others’ work. Henry Cole’s delightful illustrations heighten the story’s humor and will have readers of all ages laughing out loud.

Children’s Choice Book Awards Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year  – Children’s Book Council

Children’s Choices – International Reading Association, Children’s Book Council

Best Children’s Books of the Year (Starred) – Bank Street College of Education

Read Aloud Book Award – Center for Excellence in Literacy Instruction

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-56145-564-5
Publication Date: 3/1/2011
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/2″ x 11″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-56145-726-7
Publication Date: 2/1/2014
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/2″ x 11″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-997-1
Age Range: 4– 8
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 3.3
GRL: J, Gr 1
Lexile: AD590L
Themes: Animals, Farm, Teamwork
BISAC 1: JUV002090 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Farm Animals
BISAC 2: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
BISAC 3: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship


“What might have been an ordinary be-yourself story is enhanced by Laminack’s (Snow Day!) surprisingly thoughtful storytelling…Laminack characterizes the hens with a fine ear for their Golden Girls outrage…the illustrations go for big guffaws and slapstick instead, and largely succeed…effectively keeping the book from feeling message-heavy.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Frenetically posing chickens will inspire giggles…Good farm fun.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Laminack’s storytelling is brisk, and Cole’s cartoon illustrations are vivid and comical” ―Booklist

“A delightful choice for schools and public libraries” ―School Library Journal

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“Popular author Lester L. Laminack has created a comical look at what happens when we underestimate the value of others’ work. Henry Cole’s delightful illustrations heighten the story’s humor and will have readers of all ages laughing out loud” ―Midwest Book Review

“A beautifully illustrated contemporary fable for pre-schoolers and early elementary age children. The fable centers on wanting what others have and using your own talents to make a contribution.” ―Grand Forks Herald

“Cole’s watercolor and ink illustrations are eye-catching and will appeal to readers and listeners alike” ―Savannah Morning News

“The gentle lesson about discovering your own strengths is accompanied by bright, eye-catching illustrations and slapstick humor.” ―San Diego Union-Tribune

“The sprightly story by Lester Laminack with illustrations by Henry Cole effectively makes the point that comparisons and jealousy drain the pleasure out of life by making us chase after imagined freedom, fame, and ease. In the end, both the hens and the peacock come to a fresh respect for what they do. Being grateful for who you are and what you can do is the beginning of wisdom.” ―Spirituality and Practice

“Illustrations superbly capture the animal antics!” ―Children’s Book a Day

“The message for this book is a really good one and is one that children should be exposed to.” ―My Kingdom for a Book

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Children’s Choice Book Awards Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year ―Children’s Book Council, 2012

Children’s Choices ―International Reading Association, Children’s Book Council, 2012

Best Children’s Books of the Year (Starred) ―Bank Street College of Education, 2012

Read Aloud Book Award ―Center for Excellence in Literacy Instruction, 2012

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Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts picture books) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2011

Storytelling World Resource Awards (Stories for Young Listeners) ―Storytelling World Magazine, 2012

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2012

Kentucky Bluegrass Awards (Master List, Grades K-2) ―Kentucky Reading Association, Kentucky School Media Association, 2013

Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee, Picture Book) ―Association for Indiana Media Educators, 2013-2014

Alabama Camellia Awards (Nominee, Grades K-1) ―Alabama Department of Education, 2012-2013

Delaware Diamonds (Nominee, Grades K-2) ―Diamond State Reading Association, 2012-2013

Golden Sower Award (Nominee, Primary) ―Nebraska Library Association, 2014-2015

Ladybug Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―New Hampshire Center for the Book, 2012

Mockingbird Award (Nominee) ―Abilene Independent School District, 2011-2012

Nevada Young Readers’ Award (Nominee, Picture Book Category) ―Nevada Library Association, 2014

North Carolina Author Awards (Nominee, AAUW Award for Juvenile Literature) ―North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, 2011

Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―Oregon Reading Association, 2014-2015

Prairie Bud Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―South Dakota Library Association, South Dakota Reading Council, South Dakota State Library, South Dakota Elementary School Principal, 2013-2014

Show Me Readers Award (Nominee) ―Missouri Association of School Librarians, 2013-2014

South Carolina Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―South Carolina Association of School Librarians, 2013-2014

Treasure State Award (Nominee) ―Montana State Reading Council, 2013

Best Spiritual Book of the Year List ―Spirituality & Practice, 2012

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Meet the Author

Lester L. Laminack is a specialist in children’s literacy and professor emeritus at Western Carolina University. Laminack has written numerous books and articles for educators and is a familiar speaker at professional meetings and reading associations nationwide. He lives in North Carolina. You can visit his website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Henry Cole is the illustrator of more than ninety books for children, including bestsellers such as The Leprechaun’s GoldLittle Bo, and Tango Makes Three, and Oink!, in addition to many of his own books, such as A Nest For Celeste and Jack’s Garden. He lives in Florida. You can visit  his website here.