Over the past year or so, many of us have read Greg Mortenson's THREE CUPS OF TEA. In case you haven't read this book, Mortenson is a nurse whose failed attempt to climb K2 ultimately led him to build many, many schools in the remotest regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Now he's paired with Susan L. Roth to write LISTEN TO THE WIND, a picture book about his experiences. The book is narrated by the children of Korphe, a village in the mountains of Pakistan. The children tell of the day "Dr. Greg" stumbled into their village, cold, hungry, and sick, and of how he returned a year later to build a school in their village. The final few pages of the book are a photo album/essay of the village of Korphe, and of Mortenson going about his work. It's an inspiring story, and will probably make many children want to get involved in Mortenson's Pennies for Peace project.
In addition to a terrific story, Susan L. Roth's amazingly detailed collage illustrations- a myriad of colors, and textures, and shapes, and details-- are beyond wonderful, and leave me wondering whether it is too early to start making predictions about the 2009 Caldecott winner. I also loved the two-page spread where Roth explained how she went about making the collages.
This book has made it onto my new favorites list. It could grow the hearts of children from 5-105!