JOHN AND THE RAREY by Rosemary Wells

JOHN AND THE RAREY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The same slightly askew perspective, the same implied contempt for adult imperviousness that marked the illustrations for Hungry Fred (233, J-79) are evident here (along with similarly satirized figures), and the story's also a fantasy escape route. A more direct one: animal-loving John, the disappointment of a family preoccupied with flying planes (like father), searches for a prescribed ""clean, healthy"" pet and finds the Rarey, a small white creature with short fur (who looks rather like an albino owl). Father's efforts to sell him (to buy a plane), then to return him to the woods, fail, the first because he's not in the CATALOGUE OF ALL THE ANIMALS and therefore not needed by the zoo, the second because the Rarey's grown too big to be ordered about. At last, ensconced with John in the back of the family truck, he's transported to the edge of a cliff--where he suddenly takes wing with John on his back. Father's ecstatic ""My son is not afraid to fly"" is also clearance for the Rarey to remain. Altogether a sly, stinging take-off--handicapped considerably however by being printed on blinding pumpkin paper (and a few sheets of mauve). What might have been a winner has only an outside chance.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1969
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls