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Friday, October 27, 2017

Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package, written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2017. $16.99 ages 5 and up

"It was not a fruit basket.
It was an accordion.
Baby and Eugenia and Mrs.
Watson and Frank and the pig
and General Washington all
stood together and stared down
at the open box.
"It's an accordion," said Frank.
"Obviously," said Eugenia.
"I was hoping for a fruit basket,"
said Mrs. Watson."

Fans of Kate DiCamillo's Tales from Deckawoo Drive series will know Baby Lincoln's sister, Eugenia. The two are neighbors of Mercy Watson. This is their second adventure and we learn more about the pragmatic and very direct older sister. Chris Van Dusen brings her to life in artwork that speaks volumes about her character, giving fans a clear look at the woman who believes in nothing more than GETTING THINGS DONE. She is quick to let her sister know they have not much in common.

"We are diametrically opposed," said Eugenia to Baby.
"You are woefully impractical. I am supremely practical."
"Yes, Sister," said Baby.
"You are soft, and I am sharpened to a fine point, indeed,"
said Eugenia.
"Well, yes," said Baby. "That's true, I suppose."
"Suppose nothing," said Eugenia.
"Believe me when I say that your head is in the
clouds, and my feet are planted firmly on terra firma."

And that's how it goes. When an unexpected parcel arrives with Eugenia's name on it, she is totally
unimpressed and makes no bones about sharing her feelings. Upon discovering an accordion inside, she gets right on the phone to make arrangements for its return. Not possible, says the receptionist. Faced with keeping it, she makes a list that includes selling it, destroying it, or giving it to some other unsuspecting recipient. What to do?

Will Gaston, a positive and persistent man, be able to change her mind with a promise 'to teach anyone to make beautiful sounds upon the world's most magnificent instrument'? I wonder. Does Eugenia have music in her heart?

Sicily who, at 3, loves the Deckawoo Drive family can't wait to have it read to her.

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