A young girl plants saplings around a house on a windy hill in this picture book.
A white man with a brown beard lives in a pleasant-looking house at the top of a hill, but then the wind begins blowing: the shutters bang, the tea spills, and the boards bend. Finally he cries out, “What to do?” Kate, a brown-haired girl with light-brown skin who lives in the town below, hears his cry and comes up with a solution. Carrying the man’s hat, which she has caught as it blew away, and pulling a wagon of saplings, she visits the man, and together they plant the saplings. Kate continues to visit (illustrations show her growing up and his beard graying), while the trees mature into a windbreak. Scanlon’s alliterative text builds in a clever, repetitive fashion that begs to be read aloud. White’s charming and well-conceived mixed-media illustrations, rendered in a subtle color palette, have the speckled, earthy look of recycled paper (which is Forest Stewardship Council–certified, with some recycled content). The final page, “More About Marvelous Trees,” explains the role of and need for trees and suggests accessible ways to help (conserve paper, recycle) and also gives websites for tree-advocacy organizations.
The story and illustrations strike just the right notes of lightheartedness, determination, and education—on Earth-friendly materials to boot. (Picture book. 3-7)