The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean
Alexander McCall Smith & Laura Rankin
Knopf, 2006 (2006)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
nother lost aunt for Harriet Bean? Indeed there is - a cowgirl named Formica! Harriet gets letters from at least one aunt a week. This time Aunts Thessalonika and Japonica invite her to go on a
- to America! - with them. Her absentminded father tells Harriet to keep an eye on her two trouble magnet aunts.
hough Harriet doesn't spot her disguised aunts on the plane at first, she soon figures out who they are - or does she? After an overnight stay in New York, they head West by train, and Harriet hears how her sixth aunt Formica became a cowgirl and a rodeo prizewinner. But now she's in trouble and needs her sisters' help. What can have happened?
hey get off the train at Skeleton Gulch, and head to Formica's ranch, where they learn what the trouble is - rustlers! Harrier rides her kind horse Tex alongside the aunts in search of the villains. They camp out overnight, and encounter rattlesnake and rustlers. Of course, Harriet and her talented aunts do get their men - and teach them the value of honest work.
lexander McCall Smith gives us yet another exciting adventure for Harriet, while Laura Rankin's black and white drawings bring the story's Wild West surroundings to vibrant life.
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