cover image Kate, Who Tamed the Wind

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind

Liz Garton Scanlon, illus. by Lee White. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-101-93479-1

When a man’s cry of frustration reaches a girl named Kate, playing hopscotch in the town far below, she knows what to do. The man’s house is buffeted by endless gusts of wind, and Kate understands that planting trees will help. She brings saplings up to his house, where she plants and waters them. The story is truthful about the long wait for results; as the pages turn and the trees grow, Kate becomes a teenager, and the man’s beard goes silver. Scanlon’s story combines timely concern for the environment, the recognition that children can be heroes, and quirky, rhythmic alliteration: “The trees grew till the leaves fluttered and the shutters stilled and the boards bounced back.” The New England setting gives White familiar cultural referents to work with: white clapboard house, porch, rocking chair, and the red wagon Kate uses to trundle the trees up the hill. The excitement of this reassuring readaloud comes from the motion of the wind and the play of words. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Feb.) [/em]