________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 19 . . . . May 26, 2006


Who Likes the Wind? (Exploring the Elements).

Etta Kaner. Illustrated by Marie Lafrance. Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2006.
32 pp., cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 1-55337-839-3.

Subject Heading:
Winds-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Reece Steinberg.

**½ /4


I like the wind because it blows the leaves onto the ground. I wonder why leaves fall from trees. When some trees get ready for winter, they get rid of their leaves. This is because their leaves have very small holes in them. The holes can 
let in ice. This ice can hurt the tree. To protect itself, the tree grows a corklike wall at the end of each leaf stem. 
When this happens, the leaves can't hold on any more. They fall off the tree.

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Who Likes the Wind is a nonfiction picture book which asks and answers a variety of questions regarding air and the wind. The text is accompanied by relevant pictures of children flying kites, blowing soap bubbles and engaging in other activities. The questions which Who Likes the Wind answers are interesting and likely to be asked by children of this age group. Examples of questions include how the wind cools people on a hot day and how pinwheels turn. Each question is preceded by an "I like" statement where a child in the picture states that s/he enjoys some aspect of what the wind does. The child then goes on to wonder how this action is accomplished. This style of writing draws a connection between facts about the wind and the relevancy of these facts to real life. The text is clear and easy to understand. One of the most interesting things about the book is its format. To find out the answer to the questions posed, readers must lift a flap the size of an entire page of the book. Under the flaps are clear and concise answers to the questions. The answers are particularly well done as they not only answer the question but also offer additional related information and sometimes an example or activity which helps to demonstrate the facts it shares. Despite the concentration of information included in this book, pages do not look overly full with words.

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     The major drawback to Who Likes the Wind is its style of illustration. Though the content of the pictures matches well with the text, the colours and technique of the illustrations are less suitable for children of the targeted age group. The stylized pictures of children in off-hue colours are technically good, but are likely more attractive to adults than young children, who typically like bright colours and sharp design. The interactive aspect of the flaps may compensate for the shortcomings of the illustrations, helping to interest children in the book. Notably, the book includes pictures of children of a variety of different skin colours as well as one child using a wheelchair. Who Likes the Wind will be followed by three other books of the same series, which will use the same format to examine snow, sun and rain.

     Overall, Who Likes the Wind has many positive qualities-- it an excellent example of nonfiction writing which encourages children to examine the world around them. Its format is unique and adds suspense to the reading while also giving readers a chance to ponder possible answers to the questions posed. Unfortunately, the illustrations, which are of such importance in young children's books, leave something to be desired. all public libraries.

Recommended with reservations.

Reece Steinberg is a newly graduated librarian in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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