Comedy godfather Bill Cosby teams up with his artistic daughter Erika for a quintessentially Cosby-style story about the importance of being oneself--albeit a slightly weird, if playfully illustrated, tale--involving the antics of a couple acrobatic seabirds.
The "Cos" begins in trademark form, assuming the narrative voice of a bird named Blank, but who goes by the name Slipper (wha...?): "This is not my story, but I can tell you why I'm the bird to tell it. You see, I was the bird. I mean THE BIRD." Crowds gather by a place called the Beach by the Rock to watch a bird named Feathers do his high-flying best: "Feathers has a wingspan as large as a full-grown eagle's. And when he flutters those flappers of his, they sparkle brighter than a peacock's tail.... All Feathers had to do was swoop down from on high and the people would go, 'Ooh.' When he glided inland like a 747 approaching a runway, people would go, 'Aah.'" But Feathers' friend--an ugly-looking "dude named Hog"--has to work harder for the crowd's attention, and that leads to trouble. How will these two friends balance their desire to please with their loyalty to each other? Leave it to the Cos to explain.
As with many celeb endeavors, you can't help but notice the rough edges here--charming Cosbian rambling is one thing, of course, but this "one of life's little fables" could have benefited from some tighter focus and fewer unnecessary (and weird) details. The narrator, for example, has "stink plants" growing under his armpits--literally, geraniums--and a convoluted moral at the end might leave young readers scratching their little heads. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes