cover image The Weather’s Bet

The Weather’s Bet

Stephen Cowan, illus. by Ed Young, photos by John Hudack. Philomel, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-51382-7

Cowan and Caldecott Medalist Young retell a fable about the rain, the wind, and the sun vying to persuade a young shepherdess to doff her red cap. In collages made of torn paper and photographs by Hudack, Young places the shepherdess and sheep against images of water, clouds, and pastures, and the forces are labeled with vermilion Chinese glyphs. Wind tries first: “Blowing angry gusts of air,/ Wind howled and howled/ both far and near.” The girl’s cut-paper hair tumbles in the force of the gale, but she holds onto her cap. Rain is next; as rain falls, the girl feels the raindrops, begins to dance—but keeps her cap. In a great burst of yellow heat, the sun beats down, bringing green to the Earth and causing the awaited-for response: she “laughed her cap off as she got warm.” Large spreads and economical text make this a good classroom readaloud—a parable that leads to a discussion about the advantages of warmth over force. Ages 4–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]