DEAD AS THE DODO by Lynn & Brian Edwards


Email this review


The Edwards direct some smartly chosen barbs at human authorities in this British fable about an educated Dodo, living on an island ""a little beyond the horizon,"" who is insulted to read in a bird book that he is extinct. Suiting up for the occasion complete with bowler and a briefcase monogrammed Q.E.D. for Quentin E. Dodo, he sails up the Thames and presents himself to a tizzied Parliament, which is properly appalled by the probable cost of altering all the books that pronounce him extinct. ""Perhaps if you were to become extinct,"" the Prime Minister muses, and the Postmaster General suggests testing the bird's identity by pushing him off the top of Big Ben -- for ""if it is really a Dodo, it cannot fly."" When the Dodo surprises everyone, including himself, by flapping his wings and flying off toward his island, the M.P.'s simply label him an Unidentified Flying Object and adjourn for lunch. There's little subtlety but some wit and a good deal of zap in the poster-like illustrations; the Edwards play up the contrast between the brilliantly plumed Dodo, first seen resting under his fringed beach umbrella, and the uniformly somber M.P.'s, who are viewed at one point climbing in single file past Big Ben's giant yellow gears, so that Even American preschoolers who have never heard of a Home Secretary will get the point.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1973
Publisher: Parents' Magazine Press