2010-09-02_1724

Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Matt Phelan

Flora has had enough of her little brother Crispin messing up her stuff.  But now her mother has asked her to take Crispin outside even though the wind is very strong.  Flora will be fine because of her “super-special heavy-duty red boots” but Crispin just might blow away.  If he does, it wouldn’t be Flora’s fault.  Outside Flora laughs at the wind and knows it won’t be able to lift her, but she does tell the wind that her brother is wearing regular boots.  Soon the wind blows harder still  and Crispin is lifted into the air.  Now Flora has to decide whether to just let him go, but she kicks off her super boots and flies off with him.  As they fly through the air, Flora is approached by several creatures to take her brother from her.  A sparrow wants him to sit on her nest, the rainbow wants him to guards its pot of gold, the man in the moon wants the company.  But each is turned down as Flora replies that she is taking her brother home.  But that’s if the wind will let her do that.

Birdsall has created a book that sings.  Her prose is filled with bounce and lovely small details.  Each encounter ends with a similar response from Flora and from the creature making the request, creating a book that has just enough repetition to feel complete and whole.  Her words read aloud with grace, the refrains tying a bow on each situation.

Phelan’s art has a wonderful breezy style that matches the subject perfectly.  The children and their mother are real people with frizzy hair, apple-red cheeks, and quirks of their own.  The illustrations nicely capture the motion of the wind and the blowing leaves with a welcome feeling of freedom.

A perfect autumn read, this book is sure to blow fresh air into any story time.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by A Patchwork of Books.