This week, I’m excited to review Alexis O’Neill’s latest, THE KITE THAT BRIDGED TWO NATIONS. Alexis was the long-time Regional Advisor for SCBWI’s Central Coast Chapter in California. I love her for always encouraging and inspiring new writers like me.
AUTHOR: Alexis O’Neill
ILLUSTRATOR: Terry Widener
PUBLICATION INFO: Calkins Creek, 2013
INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 8 to 11
OPENING and SYNOPSIS:
“Whenever wind lifted off the river and sent the trees to dancing,
I’d itch to fly a kite.”
From the publisher: “Homan Walsh loves to fly his kite. And when a contest is announced to see whose kite string can span Niagara Falls, Homan is set on winning, despite the cold and the wind—and even when his kite is lost and broken. Homan’s determination is beautifully captured in this soaring, poetic picture book that features Terry Widener’s stunning acrylic paintings. Both author and illustrator worked with experts on both sides of the falls to accurately present Homan Walsh’s story. The book also includes an extensive author’s note, timeline, bibliography, and further resources.”
THEMES/TOPICS: history, kites
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Alexis unearthed an amazing true story and transformed the tale into tantalizing poetry. Her rhythmic, lyrical language mimics the rushing river and crashing falls of the great Niagara Falls. This book is a joy to read out loud. Also, Alexis did an incredible job researching this true story. Her author’s note makes clear what we know for sure and what she invented for the sake of the story.
RESOURCES: Alexis lists quite a few in her back matter:
- Learning through kites at Aeolus Curricula
- American Kitefliers Association
- Niagara Falls State Park
- Use kitchen supplies to make your own kite at National Geographic
You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!