Wild Is the Wind

Candlewick/Templar. May 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781536217926.
Gr 1-2–The power and beauty of wind take center stage in this gorgeously illustrated picture book about its journey across the world. This follow-up to The Rhythm of the Rain focuses on the great wind on its incredible journey around the world. The story begins in Africa, where a little girl, Cassi, holds a swift in her hands, sensing the changing of the seasons and the bird’s forthcoming journey, before releasing it into the air where it joins a flock of other swifts. The story follows the birds as they ride the wind through a variety of landscapes featuring oceans, deserts, grasslands, and mountains. Along the way, Baker-Smith drops fascinating facts about the wind and its effect on the land: “For the wind is the ceaseless shaper of the earth.” Like the wind, the author molds scientific explanations into beautiful, spare sentences that will impress both kid and adults: “There are caves the wind has made, like mouths in the rock. Sometimes the air flows in, sometimes out, as if the rock itself were breathing.” Accompanying the rich prose are the spectacular illustrations, which manage to convey the awe-inspiring strength of the wind as it whips through the world, creating waves and tornadoes, but also carrying seeds, petals, and birds safely on their journeys.
VERDICT A splendid coupling of science and art in one beautiful, accessible volume, certain to spark the interest of many young readers.

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