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Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Lee White

A picture book with an environmental message about the importance of trees. A man lives at the top of a steep hill and the wind wreaks havoc on his home. A little girl who lives in town at the bottom of the hill has an idea to help him – she plants a number of trees around the house to serve as a windbreak. Years go by – we see the little girl turn into a teenager and the man’s hair turn gray – but in time, the trees mature and protect the man’s house. The book ends with the girl and man having a picnic in the shade of the trees she planted. Told in alliterative, repetitive text with whimsical illustrations in earth tones.

The end of the book lists other important uses of trees, besides serving as windbreaks, including providing shade, providing food for humans and other animals, providing shelter, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, and holding soil in place to prevent erosion and flooding. It also suggests how people can make a difference, the way Kate did in the book, including recycling paper and not wasting it, planting a tree in your yard, and learning how to care for trees. Internet resources are also included, including the Arbor Day Foundation.

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