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AUNT MINNIE AND THE TWISTER by Mary Skillings Prigger


by Mary Skillings Prigger & illustrated by Betsy Lewin

Pub Date: April 22nd, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-11136-0
Publisher: Clarion Books

Aunt Minnie is back, and if this time her story seems a bit rudderless, she is no less the epitome of good sense and protectiveness. Her nine charges, children of her late brother and his late wife, are getting bigger and the house is getting smaller, but as Minnie observes, “Well, we don’t have much room—but we have each other.” Readers learn how Minnie uses a great clanging bell to get her nieces’ and nephews’ attention. And that in the spring they use one of Minnie’s dresses on a scarecrow to frighten the crows; in summer, they bottle their vegetable harvest for the coming winter—Minnie abides as a systematic force. In the autumn, they make apple butter and apple cider and stow the storable vegetables in the root cellar. Boy do those veggies taste good in the dead of winter, and boy are they glad they have that root cellar—snakes, toads, and all—when the next spring a tornado drops in for a visit. Plum spins their house right on its axis, which serves as an occasion for them to build that necessary addition (“We can’t have the front door looking straight out yonder at the johnny house”). Perhaps a few too many topics get covered, and maybe the tornado scene is a bit too frantic, even for a tornado. But Lewin’s (A House Full of Christmas, 2001, etc.) watercolors are studies in warm domesticity, and Aunt Minnie continues as an Old Soul, teaching by example and ready with the comforting touch. (Picture book. 4-8)