From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-When young Sophie confides to her grandmother that she doesn't like the wind blowing around their desert home at night, Nana promises to help her build a "blow-away-soon." The next morning, as they walk through canyons and up cliffs, the old woman helps her granddaughter appreciate the changing world around them and the role that the wind plays in carrying on the life cycle. Sophie collects sand in her shoes, a bit of grass, a feather, and an ancient shell, and when Nana helps her build the blow-away-soon-a small stone altar-she gives her treasures to the wind. When she hesitates to offer the shell, Nana reminds her that "'Some things are to let go of, but others are to keep for a good long time.'" The theme of natural cycles, including growth and death, is not heavy-handed, and the book can be enjoyed as much for its glowing illustrations as for its simple narrative. Vojtech's textured paintings are bright with desert golds, corals, and turquoise, colors that suggest the true wealth of the simple treasures these two share. The three-dimensional characters appear to be Native Americans. A story with universal appeal.
Barbara Kiefer, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4^-8. Sophie lives with her grandmother near the desert, where the wind blows and blows. She doesn't like the wind--it blew away her cowboy hat and rolled her wagon into the street. But Nana tells her that the wind is an old lady doing her job and offers to teach Sophie how to make a "blow-away-soon." The next day, the two wander the desert gathering special items to give the wind. Sophie learns that the wind scatters grass seeds, carves the rocks, and provides air for birds to fly in. Most of all, she learns that some things are to give away, but others are to keep for a long time. James' text has a poetic, mystical quality. It is enhanced by stirring illustrations that show the blue-and-golden sweep of the desert. Leone McDermott