The Best Winds

The Best Winds

5.0 1
by Laura Williams, Eujin Kim Neilan
     
 


A warm, poignant story of a young boy who learns the craft of kite making--and the art of patience--from his loving grandfather. In the Korean custom, Grandfather practices the ancient craft of kite making. "Tonight I will show you how to make a kite," he tells his grandson, Jinho. "For the best winds will be here soon." Grandfather teaches him how to trace the…  See more details below

Overview


A warm, poignant story of a young boy who learns the craft of kite making--and the art of patience--from his loving grandfather. In the Korean custom, Grandfather practices the ancient craft of kite making. "Tonight I will show you how to make a kite," he tells his grandson, Jinho. "For the best winds will be here soon." Grandfather teaches him how to trace the kite on paper, paint it, and build the frame from bamboo sticks. When the kite is completed, it's so beautiful Jinho can't wait to fly it. And he does—without Grandfather, and without the best winds.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Jinho and his friends laugh at his Korean grandfather's "ancient ways" and bathrobe-like hanbok. Jinho does not have the patience to listen to the stories his grandfather tells as he is showing him how to make a kite for "the best winds" that are coming soon. As they build it, paint it, and make the tail, Jinho begins to appreciate its beauty. Although his grandfather has told him that the winds are still coming, Jinho cannot wait to show the kite off to his friends and fly it. But he has not learned how, and disaster is the result. Jinho feels terrible. When he decides to do his best to make another kite, however, his grandfather says it is "far finer," because it is made with love. Together they share the joy of its flight. Neilan's acrylic paintings describe the actions but do so with subtle dynamic arcs and textured surfaces that suggest the mystic relationship that develops between Jinho and his grandfather and the emerging kite. We sense the growing emotional bonding from the time Jinho reluctantly helps make the first kite, to the happiness surging in the uplifted faces along with the new one. 2006, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 5 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Grandfather keeps the old Korean ways, but Jinho has no use for them. While they work on a kite to fly when the best winds come, the boy doesn't listen to the elderly man's stories of making one with his own grandfather. One morning, Jinho decides to take the kite out by himself. Having ignored his grandfather's stories, he doesn't know how to control it and it tears. Seeing the pain in his grandfather's eyes, he stays up all night fixing it. The story ends with the two flying the kite in the "best winds" and forming a bond. The somewhat abstract, acrylic illustrations with their swirls of paint are filled with color and energy. Readers will relate to this heartwarming tale about bridging generational and cultural gaps.-Amanda Conover Le, St. Johns County Public Library System, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Neilan uses round, sweeping brush strokes to give her illustrations a properly airy appearance in this tale of generations connecting. At first, Jinho would far rather be skateboarding or playing video games than sitting at the table tuning out the stories of his old grandfather-who still wears the traditional slippers and hanboks of his Korean homeland-and "helping" him construct a kite. But soon the lad's interest is caught and, eager to try out the finished kite, he ignores Grandfather's advice to wait for the "best wind," rushing outside alone to fly it. Disaster ensues, but Jinho sets to work on a new kite, and with Grandfather's hands on his, sets that one soaring. A bit sketchy, but a natural companion for Linda Sue Park's Bee-Bim Bop! (2005), which also features a Korean-American family-though one that embraces tradition enthusiastically from the start. (Picture book. 6-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590782743
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
02/28/2006
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


Laura E. Williams was born in Korea and lived in Belgium and Hawaii as a child. A former high school English teacher, she credits her reading as a child for her intense desire to write for children today. She lives in Hartford, Connecticut.

Eujin Kim Neilan is the illustrator of The Rabbit and the Dragon King and In the Moonlight Mist: A Korean Tale, both retold by Daniel San Souci. She lives in Natick, Massachusetts.

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