Saturday, April 04, 2009

Children's Book Review: Listen To The Wind (Ages 4-8)

Listen To The Wind Book Jacket
Listen To The Wind , by Greg Mortenson , is a beautiful true story of a doctor who lost his way in the mountains of Pakistan, but was then guided by "voices on the wind" to help the children of Korphe live a better life. Mortenson first told his moving story in the New York Times bestselling adult book, Three Cups of Tea (2006). The same story is now a picture book for children which combines text with collage. The collages are unique works of art created by piecing together scraps of paper, colorful fabrics and other scraps added to base papers. Susan L. Roth, the illustrator of the book, was inspired to create these pieces of art after studying actual artifacts from Baltistan, which is a region in Pakistan. Her work offers a tactile dimension to the book that draws children into the story. These collages connect the writer, artist and readers to faraway cultures and people we would like to meet.

Dr. Greg Mortenson traveled from the United States to climb the mountains of Pakistan. He came upon the small village of Korphe after losing his way. The people of Korphe helped this stranger by giving him tea, food and a bed by the fire. Dr. Mortenson felt that he must help them in return. The wise man of the village told him that he must “listen to the wind” for the answers as to how he might help. Dr. Mortenson then knew what he must do.

Share this inspirational story with a young child. The book's themes of love, kindness and peace should inspire everyone to be of service. Each collage is bright, colorful and filled with dimension. The reader can almost feel the colorful, soft scarves worn by the Korphe children seen in the illustrations. However, the illustrations are more than pieces of art, they are more importantly a connection between people and cultures. Sometimes answers float on the wind, bringing miracles to those in need.

Please visit the website to learn more about Greg Mortenson.

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