Volume 15 Number 1
Lindee Climo, whose illustrations for Chester's Barn ¹ won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award in 1983, has produced another book drawing on the life of a farm animal. Clyde, a faithful work horse. feels displaced when the farmer buys a tractor. He wishes that he had tractor wheels and immediately finds his hind quarters transformed into wheels. When this metamorphosis does not impress the farmer's cow, Clyde's imagination leads him to want cheetah legs to go with his tractor wheels. As each change leads to disappointment, transformations come quickly. Clyde changes to a half-fish, half-duck, and half-frog before he wakes and finds that he is still a horse alone in his stall. Content at last to remain what he is, Clyde is rewarded when the farmer reveals that from now on the tractor will handle the heavy farm work, while Clyde will be free to give children horseback rides, something he has always wanted to do.Climo's vivid illustrations, showing each of Clyde's hybrid forms in careful detail, will intrigue children. The bizarre juxtapositions, such as that of a horse's head attached to duck's legs and with the hind quarters fading into a fish, certainly have the surrealistic quality of a dream. The text is undistinguished, but the familiar theme of being content with one's self rather than trying to become something different has a perennial appeal that should make the book popular.
Adele Fasick, Faculty of Library and Information Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
¹ Reviewed vol. Xl/l January 1983, p.31.
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