The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck by Nathaniel Benchley

The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck by Nathaniel Benchley. Pictures by Arnold Lobel (OUT OF PRINT)

Pages: 64
Ages: 6+
Finished: Aug. 23, 2010
First Published: 1967
Publisher: Harper & Row
Genre: Children, easy reader
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:

Arthur Cluck was a very young chicken

Acquired: Bought my own copy secondhand.

Reason for Reading: Ds read-aloud to me as his reader

Benchley and Lobel pair up once again for another book in this popular series. This is a cute story. Mrs. Cluck can't find her son, Arthur, one day and goes around asking all the farm animals if they've seen him. They are all absolutely useless until she comes to the cow who suggests she talks to Ralph the barn owl. Ralph tells her he can't help her in the daytime but when he goes out at night he'll look for Arthur. The story takes a turn as we follow Ralph as he searches the barn, farmyard and woods at night looking for lost Arthur Cluck. How he finds him is good for a giggle inducing ending. No need to comment really on the illustrations, they are just as wonderful as one expects from Arnold Lobel even though he has a limited palette of greens and yellows with black added for the night scenes.

It's strange that they've let this one go out-of-print with the popular author/artist combo and a story that is timeless. I do prefer these older books over the modern ones as they are more phonetically sound and a reader can decode new or large words easily enough more often than not, while the modern ones throw in impossibly non-phonetic words that leave a struggling reader frustrated.


  1. Oh, this was one of my favorites as a child and one that my kids still enjoy reading!

    Found you from Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books and am very glad I did.


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