ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN SUSAN by Elizabeth Coatsworth


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Both the title and the standardized Cuffari drawings are accurate indications of the amiable unremarkability of this adventure/reassurance. Susan, around seven, has a father who is more attentive to older brother Joel and a daydreaming mother who is not attentive to anything, but also a magical new (to her) 200-year-old doll, Emalida, who speaks only to Susan. One night as the family flees from home before a flood, Susan gets out of the cat unobserved to rescue Emalida from the apple tree, so that when the rest of the family is safe on high ground she and the doll -- and a rooster and a cat that they save in passing -- are being swept along in the torrent, clutching the tree that was tom loose when the dam broke. With Emalida's encouragement, Susan keeps up her spirits (""punch drunk,"" says the policeman in the rescue boat that finds her singing ""Glory Glory Hallelujah"") and when Father, Mother and Joel hug and congratulate her on her bravery, ""all of a sudden Susan knew, once and for all, that she really mattered a good deal to everyone."" This won't, though it's something that many Susan's age can read in a flash.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1974
Page count: 74pp
Publisher: Macmillan