How the Ladies Stopped the Wind

( 6 )

Overview

Iceland is a very windy place.Going for a walk can be challenging. The ladies in one village, with the help of the chickens, set out to stop the wind. But the hungry sheep have other plans. Why aren’t there any trees in the Icelandic countryside? This original tale will tell you why and leave you smiling at the determination of the ever singing Icelandic ladies and their steadfast chickens.

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Overview

Iceland is a very windy place.Going for a walk can be challenging. The ladies in one village, with the help of the chickens, set out to stop the wind. But the hungry sheep have other plans. Why aren’t there any trees in the Icelandic countryside? This original tale will tell you why and leave you smiling at the determination of the ever singing Icelandic ladies and their steadfast chickens.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The homey tale combined with...folksy, funny illustrations makes for an extremely winning combination. Gunnella is especially talented at…humor and quirky chracterization...
—Kirkus 9/1/07 Kirkus Reviews

"McMillan's second tale...is as charming as his first...The folk-art pictures...match the lively folk-tale tone..." Booklist 10/01/07 Booklist, ALA

"Pait this original tale with other porquoi tales for a storytime that explores why things are the way they are." The Bulletin October 2007 Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"[T]his book will be useful not only for storytimes, but also in classroom units on ecology." SLJ Jan 2007 School Library Journal

"Having successfully solved The Problem With Cickens...in their first collaboration, the creators delier another amusingly unconventional tale." The Horn Book Horn Book

Publishers Weekly

The team that made stars of a group of Icelandic ladies in The Problem with Chickensreturns for another winning round. It hardly matters what they're up to-Gunnella's flat, deadpan oil portraits of the ladies, their polka-dot aprons and their hapless chickens are inherently funny, and every page contains another visual poke in the ribs. This time, the wind troubles them, as the thick-legged ladies are being blown sideways by brisk gusts, and they have to hold onto fence posts so they don't fly away. The ladies decide to plant trees to break the force of the gale, then discover that the sheep find young trees very appetizing (the distraught ladies line up like chess pieces and sing "Please, please don't eat the trees!" to a herd of perplexed sheep). Next, a trio of moon-faced ladies exhorts an earnest cow, "Please herd the sheep away from the trees. Please lead them to the grass." Their plan succeeds in the villages but fails out in the country, where the sheep just can't be prevented from eating the trees. As it turns out, though, that's just as well: "In the Icelandic countryside," McMillan concludes, "you can still see forever." Readers will be grateful that McMillan and Gunnella have resisted the urge to scout around for new subject matter; the ladies and their animal companions possess enough charm to fill several more books. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Annoyed by the strong winds that disrupt their lives, the women of an Icelandic village decide to plant trees to stop them. When the trees arrive, the ladies sing to the sheep, asking them not to eat the trees. They also feed the chickens, so they will provide fertilizer. Unfortunately the sheep eat the buds on the trees, so they have to order more trees. They ask the cows to keep the sheep away and build a fence as well. As the young ladies encourage the chickens, this finally works. The trees are such a help that women in other villages follow their lead, all dancing and singing the song to encourage the chickens. So this original legend-like tale ends happily for most of Iceland's villages. Gunnella's oil paintings have a folk-art look, with simplified forms, local dress, and static but decorative compositions. Although not full-page, the illustrations contain enough detail to amplify the narrative. There is a peaceful, joyous look reinforcing the patience of the village ladies.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
It is very windy in Iceland, and going for a walk can be challenging. So what did the ladies of one village decide? Why, that they would plant trees, in the village and in the countryside, to act as a windbreak. The chickens help, by providing an abundance of fertilizer. But once the sheep discover how tasty the little trees are, they eat them. The ladies replant, and build a fence around the village. The chickens fertilize, the sheep stay out with the cows, and all is well-until the sheep once more discover the tasty trees outside the fence. But thanks to the ladies (and to the chickens!), no matter how barren the fields may be, there are many beautiful trees in each village in Iceland. The illustrations are done in a faux-naif folk-art style in intensely colorful oils, perfect for depicting a village set among beautiful scenic hills near the ocean, and the cover, showing a mother pushing a baby carriage and three chickens being blown clear off the ground by wind, will invite any young reader to open the book and see what on earth is happening. Reminiscent of Carol Greene's The Old Ladies Who Liked Cats (HarperCollins, 1991; o.p.), this book will be useful not only for storytimes, but also in classroom units on ecology.
—Marian DrabkinCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The Iceland in this fable is one in which the village women are in cahoots with their farm animals and able to plant and protect beautiful trees in order to stop the wild wind that makes it hard to walk. The charming folk-art illustrations show that the women's greatest helpers are the rather self-satisfied-looking hens. Initial attempts to grow trees are unsuccessful because of the fierce winds and some obstructive sheep. While the chickens are most helpful by producing a multitude of fertilizer, the sheep eat and kill the trees. So the ladies ask the cows to distract the sheep. Things seem to be working, although the chickens can be a little too prolific in their production of fertilizer. Fortunately, said fertilizer is so strong that it keeps the animals away. So long as the descendants of these smart ladies sing to the chickens, the trees are fertilized and the houses are protected from the fury of the wind. Gunnella is especially talented at showing humor and quirky characterization in her paintings. She demonstrates the wind by showing animals and people hanging up in the air at a distinctive tilt. The homey tale combined with the folksy, funny illustrations makes for an extremely winning combination. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618773305
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/24/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce McMillan has written and illustrated more children's books set in Iceland than any other United States author. Going Fishing is his sixth to be set there, and his forty-third overall. He often summers in Iceland, though he lives in Shapleigh, Maine. Bruce holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Maine and has received numerous awards and honors for his children's books.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    Karateclaw

    Dont waste your time with that nine year old peh. Either listen or dont. Its your choice.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Geckoleaf

    "Hey Darkdream!" I say, padding in. "I brought some feathers for your nest, and a mouse."+Geckoleaf

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Shadowdawn

    Ew!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Bearkit

    He crept in silently, careful not to wake Darkdream, and hid behind her. She snorted in her sleep and rolled over. He yelped silently and sprinted to a different result.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Elder's Den

    The elder's den is a large tree trunk. There is moss covered everywhere inside it, so bedding is not needed. Here, the elderly cats of HurricaneClan will be catered to until they are ready for their final journey- their journey to StarClan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2008

    Makes you want to break out in song!

    I chose this book randomly off the shelf at the library and loved it so much I have to buy a copy for myself. The oil paintings are a delight and the story is so well written you want to sing along with these robust Icelandic ladies in your best opera voice. As a teacher, I can't wait to use this book as an example of a modern folk-tale too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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