cover image Housekeeper of the Wind

Housekeeper of the Wind

Christine Barker Widman. HarperCollins Publishers, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-026467-3

This timeless tale about Yula, who keeps house for the wind, states, ``In summer she gathered the fragrance of meadows the Wind left in the cottage and put it in bottles to sell at the market.'' One day when the Wind brings ``the smell of dry grass,'' Yula says, ``No one would buy this. . . . You're no help at all.'' The two have a falling-out and the angry Wind blows up a storm. To make amends, Yula gives the Wind a present, a kite with long tail ribbons. In return the Wind blows ``the scent of rain on wild roses'' into the cottage. This is an engaging, simple story about conflict and making up. Though Desimini's rendering of the wind is appropriately energetic and her paintings' luminous tones aptly evoke the warmth of this unusual book, much of the action depicted, like the flying kite with streamers, seems static. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)