Kirkus Reviews QR Code
SWAMP ANGEL by Anne Isaacs


by Anne Isaacs & illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-525-45271-0
Publisher: Dutton

This Tennessee tall tale concerns Angelina Longrider, who even as a child was a real big gal; in fact, and without being too gender-specific, she strongly resembles another wonderkid by the name of Paul Bunyan--and she's just as much fun. Angelina--a late bloomer--builds her first log cabin when she's two, rescues a wagon train from Dejection Swamp (hence Swamp Angel), even tangles with wily Thundering Tarnation, a bear bent on pillaging the winter stores of all Angelina's neighbors. In an epic struggle, Angelina lays Thundering Tarnation low, stocks the whole state's larders from the bear's bounteous flanks, and creates Montana's Shortgrass Prairie from his pelt. It is impossible to convey the sheer pleasure, the exaggerated loopiness, of newcomer Isaacs's wonderful story. Matching the superb text stride for stride are Zelinsky's (The Wheels on the Bus, 1990) altered-state, American primitive paintings--gems that provide new pleasures, reading after reading. To say that you are entering Caldecott land doesn't begin to do this book justice. (Fiction/Picture book. 5-9)