Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World

Allan Drummond, Author
Allan Drummond, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-32184-0
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Paperback - 36 pages - 978-1-250-05676-4
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Energy independence may not seem like a gripping topic for a picture book, but Drummond (Tin Lizzie) tells the story of the Danish island of Samsø so engagingly that families may find themselves considering wind turbines for their backyards. Windy Samsø was chosen for a pilot energy independence program by the Danish government. The government's choice doesn't excite the islanders to begin with: " ‘Why us?' said Dorthe Knudsen. ‘Let some other island take on the challenge.' " When a big storm knocks out the island's power cable, and the farmer with a big turbine is the only one whose lights are on, the project suddenly seems a lot more interesting. Drummond uses the island's high winds as a metaphor for the project's excitement with the oft-repeated phrase "Hold on to your hats!" Instead of spreads, the pages are broken up with many small spot illustrations (Drummond's loopy, sweetly tinted drawings make even immense wind turbines seem adorable); more extensive information about wind power appears in (appropriately) green sidebars. His honesty about the project's glitches makes the triumphant conclusion all the more resounding. Ages 6–10. (Mar.)
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