One of several raggly scraggly children narrates this tall tale. Their mother tries to keep them clean, but it's an uphill battle. Then one night, unannounced, the scraggliest, most unwashed creature they've ever seen appears at the door. Mother tucks ""her bewilderment inside her bandana"" and welcomes the stranger in. The dirty one does some bodacious crowing down and tears up the old homestead. When Father suggests a waltz, the grimy girl joins right in, raising a whirlwind of dust before sinking into a nap. Mother proposes a bath; the girl resists, but a series of mishaps lands her in the tub. She explodes from the water, never to be seen again. The family has to replace the tub. Bathtime is never easy, but Birchman (A Tale of Tulips, A Tale of Onions, 1994, etc.) makes the stakes seem a whole lot higher when a whirling dervish is involved. The story has all the hoary qualities of a folktale, with a bevy of unanswered questions to leave readers guessing. Newcomer Porfirio's watercolors are so vibrant they practically smoke and couldn't be more suitable for this bubbling eruption of revelry. In word and art, dust has never received more affectionate treatment.