ARNIE AND A HOUSE FULL OF COMPANY by Margaret Sigl & Diane Marie Barras Corbo


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One of those cutesy animal stories made to order for those who enjoy Benjy and Rascal. This one is about an injured staffing named Arnie, who is taken in by Corbo and who promptly becomes an indispensable part of the household. This is a follow-up to the author's previous Arnie, the Darling Starling, and the ""company"" in the title is a parade of common animals that hang around Corbo's house--animals that most of us take for granted, such as squirrels, blue jays, cats, skunks, racoons, but which Corbo treats as welcome friends. The twist of this story, though, is that Corbo has trained her starling to talk. Arnie spouts off sentences in such profusion that he makes most parrots seem like Vermonters. Arnie isn't a hero such as Benjy, who goes around sniffing out evil or foiling criminals. Rather, his presence is like a beacon that continually leads the author out of depression--a broken marriage, a move back to Cape Cod, economic hardship--to good fortune. Little by little, the world learns about the talking starling. Local newspaper articles lead to wider coverage, fight up to the The New York Times, culminating in a telephone call from the ""That's Incredible"" folks. But just on the verge of television stardom, Arnie lapses into a disease that ultimately claims his life, leaving the author signing off in search of a new starling to nurse back to health and loquacity. A neat human- (or animal-) interest story, crafted with sensitivity and that special talent that is able to turn commonplace daily endurance into a universal affinity with mankind. Ultimately, it is Corbo's triumph as much as Arnie's.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin