(1932- ) US writer, most of whose earlier works were fantasies for younger children. Tales like The Blue Stone (1976 chap), in which a Magic stone causes various Metamorphoses – people into animals, a sparrow into an Angel, etc. – are strongly inventive. Other books for the same audience include: Come Again in the Spring (1977 chap), in which a man bargains with Death for a few extra months in which to take care of his birds; Inside My Feet: The Story of a Giant (1979 chap), in which a child's parents have been stolen by a Giant; The Mouse God (1979 chap), a Beast Fable in which a cat dresses up as the God of mice and orders them into his "church" so he can eat them; and The Boxcar at the Center of the Universe (1982 chap), in which a hobo on a Train narrates the tale of his search for the centre of the Universe. Volumes for YA audiences include the very complex Amy's Eyes (1985), in which an adolescent girl's love of a Toy sailor causes it to come to life (see Animate/Inanimate) and her to become a toy (see Bondage); and Richard Kennedy: Collected Stories (coll 1987), which assembles various pieces – including Crazy in Love (1980 chap), about a man who thinks his wife is crazy because she has conversations with a donkey (see Ass) – that ingeniously manipulate a wide variety of traditional modes of storytelling. [JC]
other works for younger children (selective): The Dark Princess (1978 chap); The Lost Kingdom of Karnica (1979 chap); The Leprechaun's Story (1979 chap).
Richard Jerome Kennedy