A lyrical, captivating retelling of the Palm Sunday and Easter story from National Book Award nominee Mitali Perkins, author of Rickshaw Girl, that is sure to become a beloved tradition for families of faith.
Little Wind and the trees of Jerusalem can't wait for Real King to visit. But Little Wind is puzzled when the king doesn't look how he expected. His wise friend Bare Tree helps him learn that sometimes strength is found in sacrifice, and new life can spring up even when all hope seems lost.
This story stands apart for its imagination, endearing characters, and how it weaves Old Testament imagery into Holy Week and the promise of Jesus's triumphant return. While the youngest readers will connect to the curious Little Wind, older children and parents will appreciate the layers of meaning and Scriptural references in the story, making it a book families can enjoy together year after year.
Broadly inspired by scripture, Perkins draws on nature to illuminate the story of Holy Week in this wide-ranging picture book. When Little Wind, humanized with a brown-skinned child's face, blows into Jerusalem, a tall tree reveals that palm fronds will clap without need of the wind's assistance "when Real King comes," but Little Wind doubts that will be the case for frondless Bare Tree in Dead Garden nearby. As time passes, Real King does arrive, taking the form of light-brown-skinned Quiet Man, but he suddenly—and without much context for those who don't know the story—hangs on a cross. Later, bold-hued, chaotic scenes depict the city burning, and Little Wind eventually revisits now-scorched Bare Tree, unexpectedly finding that she's grown a few golden flowers. Inspired, the pair decide to scatter the blossoms' seeds "far and wide" so that Bare Tree's children "can clap around the world" when Real King again returns. Le's elegant depictions of nature foreground seeds and fronds, gentling Perkins's fast-moving, forward-looking chronology. Ages 3–7.