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AUNT SKILLY AND THE STRANGER by Kathleen Stevens

AUNT SKILLY AND THE STRANGER

by Kathleen Stevens & illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-395-68712-8

 A not-so-wily trickster is outfoxed by an apparently vulnerable innocent. Aunt Skilly and her goose, Buckle, are on the stoop of her lonely cabin when a stranger stops to ask for water and admire the quilts airing on her clothesline--quilts Aunt Skilly plans to sell for ``enough to keep me and Buckle through the winter.'' The old woman invites the man in for a plain but generous supper, during which he sees her laying the quilts on a chest and notes that she doesn't keep a dog and has no lock. That night, Aunt Skilly wakes to see an intruder going off with a bundle from the top of the chest, Buckley ``hissing and nipping at his heels.'' Next day, observing that ``That stranger was one part muscle and nine parts fool,'' she hears a peddler's tale of a heap of corn shucks and an empty gunnysack on the trail, meanwhile taking her quilts from inside the chest to sell to him. In his usual freely impressionistic style, Parker's seemingly casual pen lines and splashed-on watercolors evoke the mountain landscape and delineate characters with consummate skill. Lively, satisfying tale; handsome book. (Picture book. 5- 10)