The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck is a mystery book for children. This work by Nathaniel Benchly was published in 1967 by Harper & Row. It features illustrations by Arnold Lobel – lovely pencil drawings colored in soft green and yellow ochre. (The interior pages are much more engaging than the dark cover!)
Arthur Cluck is a baby chicken. When he disappears, his mother searches everywhere for him. In despair, she asks a barn owl named Ralph to search for him. Ralph, of course, works only at night. In his search he meets other critters who also roam about in the darkness – a fox and a mouse. The mouse holds a clue to where he might find Arthur. What he finds is a whole bunch of baby chicks in a crate loaded on a truck and ready to take to market in the morning. Ralph calls out “Arthur” but every chick in the crate answers. How will Ralph find the right chick. It is one special skill, or maybe a “quirk,” of Arthur’s that allows Ralph to identify him. Ah, but I won’t spoil the story by revealing that skill!