SIDNEY by Susan Jeschke


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There is a genuine nightmarish chill in the plight of Sidney, a little chick who masquerades as a fox, is mistaken for such by Max, a real one (though bis own family is not fooled), and after playing all day with Max's sister Henrietta (who in her turn is pretending to be a lion), discovers that he can't remove his disguise or convince his own sister that it's safe to let him into the coop. The mechanics of the plot however are disturbing in another way: the ""fairy chicken"" who appears near the beginning with a beautiful fox mask for Sidney tells him later that the mask ""will come off only when you can convince someone that you are a chicken."" It's Henrietta who sleepily confirms and thus restores his real identity, so that Sidney's problem is rapidly solved--but readers, even those too young to articulate their bewilderment, may remain fuzzy about the implications of the fairy's stipulation and its easy fulfillment. Nevertheless Jeschke's frisky, intelligently offbeat drawings of foxes, chicks and those mysterious odd stages she creates between the two are worth a second look.

Pub Date: April 7th, 1975
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston