March 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Kate, Who Tamed The Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon | SLJ Review

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redstarSCANLON, Liz Garton. Kate, Who Tamed The Wind. illus. by Lee White. 40p. websites. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Feb. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101934791.

K-Gr 3 –Young Kate helps tame the wind that disrupts the life of a man living atop a steep hill by planting a stand of aspen trees. Delightful cumulative text describes the ever-present wind that bangs shutters, bends boards, spills tea, and even drives the birds away. The rhythm of the lengthening sentences as the number of blown items builds seems to mirror the growing intensity of the wind’s force. Finally, the man cries, “What to do?” His cry is heard by little Kate playing at the foot of the hill. Doodling on the sidewalk, she arrives at a solution: trees. Kate loads her wagon with saplings, climbs the hill, and she and the man plant the trees together. As the trees grow along with the girl, they provide some protection from the blowing wind, transforming the man’s house at the “tip-top of the green hill” from a “creeky” one to a place where the “dust [now dies] down, the tea steep[s], and the birds peep[s].” The illustrations, executed in watercolor and ink and digitally rendered, depict the wind in swirls of white across the pages. Clothing, shutters, curtains, and even food and kitchen utensils fly in the air. Kate, frowning with hands on hips, appears resourceful and determined. An informative author’s note provides information about the importance of trees in our ecosystem as well as websites for ideas about how to protect them. VERDICT The lyrical text begs to be read aloud and is perfect for Arbor Day or Earth Day celebrations. A first purchase for ecology units as well as collections featuring bold girls.–Marianne Saccardi, Children’s Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2017 issue.

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