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Literature / The Kweeks of Kookatumdee

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The Kweeks of Kookatumdee is a 1985 children's storybook by Bill Peet.

A race of birds known as kweeks live on the island of Kookatumdee, with little else to do but wait for and brawl over the fruit they eat. Lead kweek Quentin's warning of trouble comes true, but the kweeks' problem may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

This book contains examples of the following tropes:

  • The Aloner: Jed is left alone on Kookatumdee when his fellow kweeks learn to fly and leave the island.
  • Die or Fly: Quentin finally discovers he can fly when he's caught between the vengeful Jed and a jump into the sea.
  • Nothing but Skin and Bones: Most of the kweeks, who can't get many ploppolops, shrink down till their beaks and feet are the biggest parts of them. This causes Quentin to decide they need to do something soon to avoid starvation.
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  • The Joy of First Flight: The kweeks are gleeful when they discover that the extreme weight loss they've undergone means they can now fly and do not have to stay on the island. Even after they discover an island with much more plentiful food, they keep themselves much leaner than before so that they can keep doing it.
  • The X of Y: The title is about birds called kweeks that live on the island of Kookatumdee.
  • Your Size May Vary: The text describes ploppolop fruit as being pumpkin-sized, while many of the ones in the pictures look closer to the size of an apple. (Then again, there are miniature pumpkins out there...)
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