WHO REALLY KILLED COCK ROBIN? by Jean Craighead George
Kirkus Star

WHO REALLY KILLED COCK ROBIN?

KIRKUS REVIEW

The web of life is revealed in all its intricacy when Tony Isidoro, an eighth grader who has inherited the zoology project interrupted by his older brother's call to army service, works with the local mill owner's 12-year-old daughter, and later with his brother's zoologist friend from the college, to solve a murder that has baffled and grieved the town of Saddleboro. The case opens when the town's mayor, an opportunist who won election on an ecology platform, makes political capital and daily radio announcements -- not to mention a gala Cock Robin Day picnic -- of a family of robins that nests in his hat. When the robins embarrass him by dying, the mayor asks Tony to discover the cause; later the boy's investigations prove equally embarrassing, but Tony determinedly tracks down the culprits. His sleuthing reveals that the mayor's lawn fertilizer has polluted the local marsh, that mother robin and her eggs were done in by a chemical called PCB, released by the mill owner under orders from NASA and combined with DDT from an up-wind orchard and a weed killer called 2, 4, 5-T, and finally that Cock Robin himself was killed, true to the old song, by the sparrow -- or at least by the chain set off when 10,000 Florida sparrows died from eating mercury-treated seeds, causing millions of blood-sucking parasitic flies to leave their bodies and attack the migrating robins. The tone of the whole adventure is buoyant, and the ecological complexities that constitute its theme are so neatly reflected in the plot that the scientific search for Cock Robin's murderer has an edge-of-the-chair excitement.
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1971
ISBN: 0064404056
Page count: 210pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1971




JEAN CRAIGHEAD GEORGE, 1919-2012:

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