Published first in Turkish in 2008, this picture book from an Islamic publisher takes a look at the higher purpose of winds, raindrops and snowflakes.
Yildirim’s illustrations have the retro colors and aesthetic of 1950s early readers. Lines are swirly, and every raindrop, snowflake, tree and child wears a smile. Each of the three chapters ends with a prayer from the children, praising Allah for the wind, rain and snow. Each is also followed by a play activity of great simplicity (for rain, children can, with mother’s permission, take a basin outside and watch it fill with water). The personification of the weather—wind, raindrops and snowflakes each with little faces—has a raw and simple charm that is also evident in the text. Strong Wind knows that in autumn he must blow hard, informing all of the coming winter, but he is reduced to tears when the raven’s nest is destroyed because the raven did not prepare it for the change of seasons. The other winds remind him that he did his duty, and the fault was raven’s. The last raindrop rescues a white daisy: “I will have a long life!” she says. The pine tree fears the weight of the snow, but the snowflakes remind him that almighty Allah gave him the perfect shape to hold snow and that the melting snow will benefit all.
This is very much a teaching story, with an emphasis on the “teaching” part; despite its didacticism, it’s welcome in its representation of a belief system not seen often enough in American children’s books. (Picture book/religion. 5-8)