The Weather’s Bet

Philomel. Mar. 2020. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780525513827.
K-Gr 3–Despite how much humans feel they control the world, Wind, Rain, and Sun will always be the Earth’s primary powers. One day, Wind, Rain, and Sun observe a shepherd sleeping on a hill with her sheep. For fun, Wind bets the others that it can make her lose her cap. It tries blasting her with a gale so strong she has to hold on to keep from flying away, but her cap stays on. Next, Rain attempts to soak her hat off, but this is likewise unsuccessful. Finally, Sun emerges from behind the clouds to bathe the Earth in its warm glow, trying its hand at removing the cap. The heat of the sun finally wears the shepherd down, but she knows in her heart who the winner truly is. This retelling of “The Wind and the Sun” is both lyrical and profound, using select, spare language to tell the story. Rhyming phrases are pleasing to the ear, but the complexity of the story’s message goes deeper than the text itself. Young’s illustrations are striking, composed of paper collage and occasionally shifting orientation to add to their dynamic quality. The text is superimposed expertly upon the images, making them function as one and the same. Additionally, Chinese character representations of Wind, Rain, and Sun appear throughout the book as their powers are mentioned.
VERDICT Elementary school classrooms seeking another approach to Earth Day will appreciate the mysterious beauty within the pages of this book.

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