Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: February 6th, 2018
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Genres & Themes: Picture Book, Nature, Good neighbors, Kindness
A wild wind blows on the tippy-top of a steep hill, turning everything upside down for the man who lives there. Luckily, Kate comes up with a plan to tame the wind. With an old wheelbarrow full of young trees, she journeys up the steep hill to add a little green to the man’s life, and to protect the house from the howling wind. From award-winning author Liz Garton Scanlon and whimsical illustrator Lee White comes a delightfully simple, lyrical story about the important role trees play in our lives, and caring for the world in which we live.
What a smart solution to tame the uncontrollable wind.
Well, it is not tamed exactly, but Kate found a way to let nature be itself without bothering the old man at the top of the hill, and that’s all anyone should do. No one should try to change nature, is the opinion of the environmentalist inside of me.
This reads like a fairytale. It does. Except, the writing made me cringe, as the author tries too hard to make it poetic. Instead, it comes off as repetitive, unoriginal and, yes, sadly, pretentious.
But bad writing does not make a bad story. I understood it, thank goodness, and enjoyed it, despite the other flaws.
Honestly, this is the sort of picture book that does not even require writing. Just like Aaron Becker’s JOURNEY trilogy, the illustrations are so detailed and clear that the reader can easily understand how the story unfolds without requiring a written narration.
Not only that, but the graphics are spectacular. THEY are poetic. It is as though the illustrator moved along with the lines that make the forms. Let’s call them visual poetry, as they deserve to be.
My conclusion is that this writer & illustrator do not make a great team. I actually never said that before in any of my reviews. There’s a first to everything I guess.
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