How the Ladies Stopped the Wind

Bruce McMillan, Author, Gunnella, Illustrator , illus. by Gunnella. Houghton/Lorraine $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-77330-5

The team that made stars of a group of Icelandic ladies in The Problem with Chickens returns for another winning round. It hardly matters what they’re up to—Gunnella’s flat, deadpan oil portraits of the ladies, their polka-dot aprons and their hapless chickens are inherently funny, and every page contains another visual poke in the ribs. This time, the wind troubles them, as the thick-legged ladies are being blown sideways by brisk gusts, and they have to hold onto fence posts so they don’t fly away. The ladies decide to plant trees to break the force of the gale, then discover that the sheep find young trees very appetizing (the distraught ladies line up like chess pieces and sing “Please, please don’t eat the trees!” to a herd of perplexed sheep). Next, a trio of moon-faced ladies exhorts an earnest cow, “Please herd the sheep away from the trees. Please lead them to the grass.” Their plan succeeds in the villages but fails out in the country, where the sheep just can’t be prevented from eating the trees. As it turns out, though, that’s just as well: “In the Icelandic countryside,” McMillan concludes, “you can still see forever.” Readers will be grateful that McMillan and Gunnella have resisted the urge to scout around for new subject matter; the ladies and their animal companions possess enough charm to fill several more books. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-547-56221-6
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