OLIVER HYDE'S DISHCLOTH CONCERT by Richard Kennedy

OLIVER HYDE'S DISHCLOTH CONCERT

KIRKUS REVIEW

Now maybe it's sad and maybe it's spooky, but there was a man who lived just out of town on a scrubby farm and no one had seen his face for years."" Once again Kennedy entices with his first baited, ear-pleasing sentence, and once again--though the subject seems unlikely--he carries you along to the end. It seems that the man, formerly a fiddler of renown, has been mourning his wife for years. ""The beautiful bride of Oliver Hyde/ Fell down dead on the mountainside,"" chant the children. Then an old friend urges Oliver to fiddle for his daughter's wedding in Edward's barn; Oliver accedes on condition that the guests cover their faces with dishcloths in his presence, only to feel trapped when they agree. He has more misanthropic tricks up his sleeve, but the trick's on him when he arrives at the wrong barn and plays, unawares, to an unresponsive audience of grain sacks. Spurred by this counterpart of his own withdrawal, Oliver later plays up a storm at the right barn, and ""everyone had a wonderful time""--without dishcloths. However odd the key, Kennedy's telling is as true as ever; and Parker's shadowy black and white illustrations are well attuned to the sad and spooky concert.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1977
Publisher: Little, Brown