Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Listen To the Wind

LISTEN TO THE WIND: THE STORY OF DR. GREG AND THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth. Illustrated by Susan L. Roth. (Dial, $16.99.) A school grows in Pakistan. (Ages 4 to 8)

This book is #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for children's books and it's co-written and illustrated by my talented friend Susan L. Roth. Susan has been doing absolutely great work for some years now, as I've been telling librarians, and now she deservedly has her "breakout book."
Based on the experience of American nurse Greg Mortenson, whose life was saved by the Himalayan villagers of Korphe, Pakistan, after his failed attempt to climb the mountain K2. He vowed to return and build a decent school for the impoverished villagers who sheltered him for 7 weeks and nursed him back to health. Not only did Mortenson return and build that school, but he has helped create an agency that has constructed some 50 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson has written this story along with Susan L. Roth.
But the best part for me is the exquisite artwork of Susan. The collages, almost assemblages really, exude charm and authenticity with a variety of cloth, yarn, metal, and imagination that weave the tale in vivid detail, texture, and color. She brought the story to life. Susan explained that the art was inspired by actual clothing and objects from the village, where no scrap of fabric goes to waste. The back of the book contains photographs of Korphe village and its people.

You're sure to enjoy Susan L. Roth's other splendid books including Hecho En Mexico, My Love for You All Year Round, and The Biggest Frog in Austrailia.


Kelly said...

Wow, that cover illustration is amazing! And weirdly enough as I was reading your post, I was "listening to the wind" blow on Blue's Clues! (with my four year old snuggled next to me)

willow said...

I just stopped by to say "hi". Your artwork and books are delightful!!

Anonymous said...

I got tears in my eyes just reading your review. What a beautiful story, and beautifully illustrated too...I can tell from just the cover art!

poemhome said...

Kelly: that's beyond weird!
Willow: love your elegant blog and dabadabada to you too!
Teresa: normally my blog makes people laugh not cry!

Kelly H-Y said...

I've been wanting to look into this book since seeing Greg and his daughter interviewed regarding both the picture book and his book, "Three Cups of Tea" ... which is also on my reading list! Thanks for the great recommendation!

Dave King said...

This is one absorbing tale.

tess said...

I've been reading this one all week --that's roughly 150 children in the library. They love the bridge with its scary cable, how the photographs mirror the artwork (especially the old wise man); and how it seems that Hussein is reading the book to his children (at the end), at the same time that I am reading to mine.
One child could not stop drawing in the carpet with her finger. It was so sweet.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

We have this book at my school and have done book clubs on the topic. We did Pennies for Peace, the school fund raiser for Mortenson's schools. I whole-heartedly support this cause and I love the story of how he got it going. Mortenson is a great speaker if you ever get the chance to see/hear him. Thanks for highlighting the book.