A wistful story of the prairies of Minnesota back in 1880 -- and of exiled Danes, to whom this land of blizzard, drought, locusts, tornadoes seemed impossible of acceptance. Gunnar Nielson had lost his wife and one child to the new land; his contact with his four other children was unemotional and frightening to the younger ones. A working housekeeper lacked the light touch of the dead mother. Then- into the family came a stranger, a wanderer, Reilly-O, who brought the warmth and imagination and vision they needed. A blizzard, superbly described, makes him a more or less permanent guest; but a tornado is the disaster that writes finis to his tale, though the miracle he had sought has been achieved, and the Nielsons at last have accepted their new country. At her best with the portrayal of the children and animals, Dana Faralla has kept a story that might have been grimly realistic on a level of lyrical poetry that somehow never quite seems real. It makes appealing reading however. And despite the scenes of death, it has much to recommed it to younger readers.