BURTON AND STANLEY by Frank O’Rourke

BURTON AND STANLEY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A children's book debut by a prolific author of sports stories and westerns. Somewhere on the Chicago & Northwestern line in 1935, Mr. Kraft, Cherrygrove agent, notices two ``wildly disheveled and preposterously ugly'' birds perching on his depot chimney. Kraft, who knows his bird books, promptly identifies them as marabou storks, mysteriously far from home. He even knows they're mute but can clatter their bills, as they proceed to do in what he recognizes as Morse code. Conversing in the manner of colonial gentlemen--but telegraphically, of course--they explain: ``Funnel swallowed us...had brief glimpse Kilimanjaro lower left rear before blown west on fierce horizontal wind.'' Ultimately, it's important for Burton and Stanley to go home--winter, hunting season, and a nearby zoo all threaten. The birds can't fly as far as Africa, but passage is arranged on a ship from the Gulf Coast. What's fun here are the whimsically erudite repartee and tongue- in-cheek descriptions of down-home midwesterners and the flocks of birds that rally round to help. Not as amusing or well plotted as King-Smith's Harry's Mad (1987), but a charming readaloud for a similar audience. Allen's wide-eyed pen-and-ink caricatures add to the humor. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-87923-824-0
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Godine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993




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