Phoebe and Flannery French
The French girls, on the surface, appear carefree, perhaps even typical: young, blond, charming… concerned with the welfare of imaginary animals. So it’s all the more shocking to discover that this casual demeanor is all camouflage. These girls—eight-year-old Flannery and her younger sister Phoebe (age five)—are being stalked by the nefarious Barbara Doc Iveress (rhymes with “iris”). A master of disguises, Barbara Doc Iveress (aka BDI) is both a barber and a doctor, though you wouldn’t want to fall victim to her services. Not ever having spotted her, it’s easy to imagine she’s a relative of Cruella Deville.
“She’s like a trickster figure,” their father explains. “Phoebe thought her up.”
“If you want to be bald,” Phoebe says, “she just cuts off a few strings of your hair.” Phoebe’s hair is long and very straight with bangs that suggest a sophistication uncommon in five-year-olds.
“And if you don’t want to be bald,” Flannery adds, “she makes you bald.” Flannery has recently let her hair grow out into a 1930s style bob.
“She recommends all the wrong medicines,” Phoebe continues, with a bit of respectful glee. Or perhaps it is delight in having conjured up this evil.
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