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WHEN THE WIND BLOWS by Linda Booth Sweeney Kirkus Star


by Linda Booth Sweeney ; illustrated by Jana Christy

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-399-16015-8
Publisher: Putnam

Whipping, wild wind calls a grandmother and her grandson out-of-doors into the frenzied, fantastic fray with a kite and giddy grins.

Electric colors (cerulean blues, emerald greens, brilliant magentas) evoke the kinetic energy that crackles before a storm and the irrepressible excitement a good squall brings out in young and old. Who really feels gray and dreary right before a proper storm? Cheerful, phosphorescent illustrations stretch across double-page spreads, with the boy’s flapping kite, the salty seaside town, its beach and white-capped ocean all bending to the wind’s howl. The artwork’s consistent slant creates a joyously cockeyed perspective that conveys the madcap glee of the grandmother and grandchild’s pre-storm surge through their neighborhood. Young readers race alongside them, pausing to scan each scene for the bustling activities of others: a boatman’s wave, a bundled baby, a leaping dog, a bride and groom emerging from the chapel. The wind whirls all around these townsfolk and through the book’s exhilarating verse too—metronomic and as succinct as the heartbeat throbbing in the cold ears of a child racing back to his dry house: “Trees dance. / Spiders curl. / Mice shiver. / Leaves swirl.”

Gale-force gusts of invigorating artwork and imagery will leave readers breathless in windswept wonder.

(Picture book. 2-6)