Students who break the rules at Ernestine Wilde Alternative High School get sent to see Ms. Lavinia Drumm, the librarian. Tall and exotically dressed, wearing strange jewelry and voluminous shawls, and holding a carved shillelagh, Ms. Drumm is known for her uncanny storytelling. She bangs her shillelagh, sits atop a table, and begins her tales: of a boy who comes to an untimely end when he tries to teach crows to talk; of a woman who may actually be a fox; of a child who joins a family of cats below an escalator. These stories, bold and evocative -- and full of fur, feathers, and scales -- are stunningly original, yet embrace traditional and folk motifs.
Barbara Ann Porte, who is known for her superb storytelling, is in top form with this new collection of inventive tales paired with Rosemary Feit Covey's dramatic wood engravings.
Barbara Ann Porte is the author of many books for adults, teens, and children, including the young adult novel Something Terrible Happened; the chapter book Fat Fanny, Beanpole Bertha, and the Boys; and for younger readers, If You Ever Get Lost: The Adventures of Julia and Evan. Critics have praised her for her skillful storytelling, lively dialogue, convincing characterization, and humor. Her books have been named ALA Notable Books for Children and Best Books for Young Adults and American Booksellers Association "Picks of the Lists," among other honors. A storyteller and a former head of the Children's Services Division of the Nassau Library System, New York, Barbara Ann Porte lives in Arlington, Virginia.