Twister Reviews

Lucille is playing outside with her brother, Natt, when the sky turns green.  Thunder chases them inside.  But it isn't until a dark cloud in the distance reaches down to earth that they know. "Twister!" shouts Mama, and they all run for the cellar.  Then Mama leaves to help a neighbor--and Lucille and Natt brave the storm alone.

Darleen Bailey Beard's story, both thrilling and reassuring, recounts an experience familiar to many children. Tenderly written, it shows how people, young and old, face natural disaster and simply go on.  In her own warm style, Nancy Carpenter captures the fierce beauty of the storm, as well as all the emotion it evokes.

A riveting adventure...lyrical descriptions lend a you-are-there immediacy, while Carpenter's generously colored artwork vibrates with the intensity of nature unleashed.  A rousing tale. --Kirkus Review

Starred review by School Library Journal 
Boxed review by Booklist

*Over sixty copies given to Oklahoma libraries, schools, and students in towns affected by the May 3rd tornado.

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages 
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (March 10, 1999) 
Language: English 
ISBN: 0374379777 
Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches

From Publishers Weekly

A rural family and its neighbor face potential disaster as a tornado heads for their homes in this suspenseful though ultimately reassuring picture book. Natt and Lucille enjoy a sultry summer day eating Popsicles and pretending to be royalty. As they dart through the yard, a serious storm kicks up and brings them indoors. When Mama spots an ominous funnel cloud in the distance, she sends Natt and Lucille racing out toward the storm cellar built into the yard while she heads next door to help Mr. Lyle take shelter. During the next several minutes, Natt and Lucille hunker alone in the dark, waiting for the storm to pass and afraid for Mama and Mr. Lyle's safety. Happily, the twister moves on, having caused minimal damage, and Natt and Lucille are quickly reunited with Mama. Beard (The Pumpkin Man from Piney Creek) gets all the details right: the sky turning the color of Mama's guacamole, an ominous silence followed by the "monstrous howling" of wind. In a style vastly different from her work in Loud Emily and closer to that in Lester's Dog, Carpenter's soft and hazy pastels capture all the colors of the changing sky. Her portraits of Natt and Lucille have an emotional pull, showing the kids' move from playful to fearful to thankful as the ordeal begins and ends. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-In this vividly written story, Natt and Lucille learn that life can change with terrifying rapidity when, on a lovely summer day as they are playing outdoors, an onrushing tornado drives them into the storm cellar. After seeing them to safety, their mother goes to help an elderly neighbor seek shelter. Lucille tries to cheer Natt up with little games, but both children are frightened, especially when the storm screeches and tears at the cellar door. Suddenly all is quiet. The siblings emerge and find the sun shining once again and their mother and neighbor crawling out from underneath his porch. Despite the wreckage of an overturned truck, toppled trees, and sagging roofs, the children find joy in collecting sparkling hailstones and returning to their porch swing. Sweeping, expressive double-page spreads show them enjoying their play, then racing first to their mobile home as the sky is split by lightning and turns charcoal blue, and then, wind whipped, running to the cellar in the backyard where they sit, tense and terrified, in the dark until they can emerge into the sunlight to find the ground covered with ice diamonds and everyone safe.

Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.



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