Booklist (Starred)

Children who know Angelica Longrider, the "wildest wildcat in Tennessee" in the Caldecott Honor Book

Swamp Angel (1994), will cheer her return in this sequel that sends the barefoot, bear-wrestling giant to

Montana. After rearranging a mountain or two, Angel feels settled in her new home. All she needs is a

horse powerful enough to support her Himalayan size, and she finds her answer when a dust storm hits in

the summer of 1835. Leaping onto the swirling funnel clouds of grime, she wrestles the storm until it

magically takes equine shape and becomes Dust Devil, her trusty sidekick, who arrives just in time to help

her take on a team of larger-than-life bandits, led by Backward Bart. Once again, Isaacs' story and

Zelinsky's oil-paint-on-wood artwork create a laugh-out-loud tall tale with folksy phrasing and slapstick

exaggeration. There are really two adventures in one here, which makes for a lengthy read-aloud, but

children will delight in the deadpan, old-West narration and every gleefully silly, expertly rendered visual

detail, from Bart's trusty steed (a saloon-sized mosquito) to Angel's full-branched pine-tree knitting

needles. A few pourqoui elements wrap up this handsomely designed, thoroughly entertaining stand-alone

sequel.

     

    • Gillian Engberg