STARRED REVIEW
February 2018

Shelter from the storm

By Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Lee White

From its first page, Kate, Who Tamed the Wind might seem like a fairy tale about to unfold. There is a folk-art feel to the painting of a bearded man pedaling to his creaky house on the windswept top of a steep hill. But this clever collaboration between author Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrator Lee White is actually a delightfully original exploration of the role of trees in the environment, perfectly calibrated for children.

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From its first page, Kate, Who Tamed the Wind might seem like a fairy tale about to unfold. There is a folk-art feel to the painting of a bearded man pedaling to his creaky house on the windswept top of a steep hill. But this clever collaboration between author Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrator Lee White is actually a delightfully original exploration of the role of trees in the environment, perfectly calibrated for children.

We soon see that the man in the house has bigger problems than a steep bike ride. The wind never lets up! It makes his shutters bang, knocks his teacup off the table and blows his hat—and his words—right out the door. “What to do?”

Enter a little girl called Kate from the tiny town below. Kate brings back the man’s hat, along with a wagonload of saplings. The saplings are planted, and they grow into trees as the old man’s beard gradually turns white. Kate gets older, too, and one day she returns for a celebratory tea party under the shade of the sheltering trees near the quiet house on top of the now-green hill.

The fictional story is accompanied by an informative author’s note, “More About Marvelous Trees,” which provides background on the role of trees in the earth’s ecosystem as well as internet resources for budding environmentalists.

This is the perfect choice for tree huggers of all ages.

 

Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen.

This article was originally published in the February 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Kate, Who Tamed the Wind

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind

By Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Lee White
Schwartz & Wade
ISBN 9781101934791

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