Dust Devil

by Anne Isaacs
Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

* A Notable Children’s Book for 2010
The New York Times Book Review (one of eight Notables)

Starred reviews in:
* Kirkus Reviews
“Isaacs and Zelinsky tell an even taller tale about Angelica Longrider, the outsized heroine of their hilarious, Caldecott Honor–winning Swamp Angel.… A new classic.”
* School Library Journal:
“A stunning tour de force and a satisfying continuation of Angel’s saga.”
* Publishers Weekly:

“Isaacs more than delivers … paired with Zelinsky's stunning American-primitive paintings …”
* Booklist:
“Once again, Isaacs’ story and Zelinsky’s oil-paint-on-wood artwork create a laugh-out-loud tall tale with folksy phrasing and slapstick exaggeration. Children will delight in … this handsomely designed, thoroughly entertaining stand-alone sequel.”

Swamp Angel was the oversized heroine of the Caldecott Honor book Swamp Angel, which the New York Times Book Review called “in all ways superb.”

Book cover
Now author Anne Isaacs has brought us another tall tale of Swamp Angel and her adventures. Out West in Montana, Angel wrestles a colossal dust storm and finds at its center the only horse big enough to carry her. This Dust Devil becomes her horse and her sidekick; together, the two heroes rid Montana of Backward Bart and his flying Desperadoes, the baddest, ugliest, and funniest villains you could ever hope not to meet.

Dust Devil has been named:
• an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner
• a Junior Library Guild selection.
• One of the New York Public Library's Best 100 Books of 2010

SLJ’s Fuse#8 blog says: “I’m stumped. Can’t think of a single critical thing to say about this one. It’s just purely beautiful. But you’ll have to see it yourself to believe me.”

You can find out about Paul Zelinsky’s Dust Devil vest, and the fabric pattern it’s made from, by clicking here.

Read a Publishers Weekly article about Paul's funny journal describing the creation of the book, and read the journal itself.

First book pic Here is Backward Bart with his gang of Desperadoes, about to perform one of their bad deeds.

They ride around on big mosquitos because they are too ornery for any horse.

Bart was a very nasty baby—
but that was no excuse.

second book pic


Bart: grown up, but not too successfully.

Here are the bad guys closer up:
bad guy hopkins Bad Guy Hopkins
missouri jerk Missouri Jerk
lovely poe Lovely Poe
sam dieg Lawless Sam Diego
stanford twins By Guess and By Golly, the Stanford twins

Inevitably, Swamp Angel and Dust Devil will battle it out with Backward Bart and his flying Desperadoes across the Big Skies of Montana.

sky battle

And there will be a happy ending.


Did you know that dust devils are a real thing-- not just a horse's name, and certainly not a vacuum cleaner? (That's a Dirt Devil!) Wikipedia defines a dust devil as a "strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind," one that picks up dust and swirls across the landscape. This YouTube video shows a real dust devil.

Click here to see a page about dust devils on Mars, complete with a movie of a passing one, taken by Spirit, the roving Mars exploration craft.

Click here to order Dust Devil from an independent bookstore near you, if you are in the USA.