The best books about peafowl

Many authors have picked their favorite books about peafowl and why they recommend each book.

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Why Peacocks?

By Sean Flynn,

Book cover of Why Peacocks?: An Unlikely Search for Meaning in the World's Most Magnificent Bird

GQ writer Flynn and his wife and two kids are minding their own business on their surburban Durham “faux farm” when a friend calls to ask if they want to add a peacock to the two chickens that wander their yard. They end up with three of the kaleidoscopic birds, and Flynn’s chronicle of the family’s first year with Carl, Ethel, and Mr. Pickle takes readers on an implausibly relatable journey from the bird’s place in history, culture, and myth through its evolutionary biology and breeding habits to its endangered status in the wild, offering sardonically hilarious and harrowingly poignant life lessons along the way.

Who am I?

I never had a particular interest in birds until I heard about David Wingate and the cahow; I’m just a reporter who was smitten by a compelling story. I often write about science and the environment, as well as travel and other topics, for publications including the Boston Globe, Archaeology, and Harvard Medicine, and while working on Rare Birds I got hooked on these extraordinary creatures and the iconoclastic obsessives who have become their stewards in the Anthropocene era. You don’t have to care about birds to love their stories — but in the end, you will.

I wrote...

Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction

By Elizabeth Gehrman,

Book cover of Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction

What is my book about?

Rare Birds is a tale of obsession, of hope, of fighting for redemption against incredible odds. For more than 300 years the cahow, or Bermuda petrel, was believed extinct, but by the early 1900s, tantalizing hints of the birds’ continued existence began to emerge, and in 1951, two naturalists mounted a last-ditch effort to find them, bringing 15-year-old David Wingate along for the ride. When the stunned scientists pulled a blinking, docile cahow from deep within a rocky cliffside, it made headlines around the world—and showed Wingate what he was put on Earth to do.
Starting with just seven nesting pairs of the birds, Wingate devoted his life to giving the cahows the chance they needed in their centuries-long struggle for survival, battling hurricanes, invasive species, DDT, the American military, and personal tragedy along the way. It took six decades of ardent dedication, but Wingate has seen his dream fulfilled as the birds have reached the 100-pair mark and returned to Nonsuch, an island habitat he hand-restored for them, plant by plant, in anticipation of this day. His story is an inspiring celebration of the resilience of nature, the power of persistence, and the value of going your own way.

Tuck Me In!

By Dean Hacohen, Sherry Scharschmidt (illustrator),

Book cover of Tuck Me In!

In this interactive picture book, every other page is cut to look like a blanket. My kids love tucking in each animal by turning the page. This simple, gentle bedtime book also features repeated lines, so kids can join in the reading. “Who else needs to be tucked in?” / “I do!” It’s a wonderful way to get toddlers engaged in the story (but not in a rambunctious way) before settling into bed. 

Who am I?

I am the author-illustrator of funny picture books for kids, including the interactive book, Animals Go Vroom!. As an illustrator, I revel in creating jokes and storylines in the pictures that kids can follow along with by themselves. And as a mother of two small children myself, I know first-hand the magical experience of reading books with toddlers that keep them guessing and giggling along the way.

I wrote...

Animals Go Vroom!

By Abi Cushman,

Book cover of Animals Go Vroom!

What is my book about?

With a nod to Richard Scarry, this interactive picture book surprises readers with every turn of the page!

Hiss! Screech! Roar! It’s a noisy day in Bumperville! But are the sounds what you think they are? That Honk! must surely be a goose. But turn the page and it’s the taxi that a goose is driving! Using cleverly placed die-cuts, this inventive book hints at what is making the sound, but with each turn of the page, it’s an eye-opening surprise and part of an unfolding story that is part guessing game and part giggle-inducing caper.

Murder with Peacocks

By Donna Andrews,

Book cover of Murder with Peacocks

Zany family members and weddings gone wrong provide page-turning laughs in the first book in the Meg Lanslow series. The heroine is smart, funny, and… a blacksmith. The small-town shenanigans just keep coming in this laugh-out-loud mystery, but the heart comes from the familial relationships. (No peacocks are harmed in the making of this mystery, but they do provide plenty of laughs.)

Who am I?

I’ve been addicted to reading and writing mystery novels since I picked up my first Nancy Drew. But in addition to a good puzzle, I also love a good laugh and grew up watching classic screwball comedies. I’ve written a dozen funny cozy mysteries now with more in the works. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

I wrote...

Big Shot: A Small Town Cozy Mystery

By Kirsten Weiss,

Book cover of Big Shot: A Small Town Cozy Mystery

What is my book about?

Hi. I’m Alice. The number one secret to my success as a bodyguard? Staying under the radar. But when a public disaster blew up my career and my reputation, my perfect, solo life took a hard left turn to small-town Nowhere, Nevada. And to bodies. Lots of dead bodies…