I chose a very special book for my second post for Dive Into Diversity. My son, Mason, will be seven years old next month. After he was born, my friend came from Idaho to visit us in Oregon. She brought Mason a beautiful book as well as an inspiring CD for me. I am listening to Women of the World: Acoustic as I write this post. I hadn’t listened to this music in a long time. I also hadn’t read Listen to the Wind in a long time. Mason is now old enough to appreciate this beautiful true story about compassion, celebrating culture, and working together to make the world a better place through education and peace.
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson ~ art by Susan L. Roth
Greg Mortenson stumbled, lost and delirious, into a remote Himalayan village after a failed climb up K2. The villagers saved his life, and he vowed to return and build them a school. The remarkable story of his promise kept is now perfect for reading aloud. Told in the voice of Korphe’s children, this story illuminates the humanity and culture of a relevant and distant part of the world in gorgeous collage, while sharing a riveting example of how one person can change thousands of lives.
The first page of Listen to the Wind introduces young readers to the children of Korphe.
The last three sentences draw the reader in and set up the story.
“We study in the school that we helped build.
Before our school was built,
we had lessons outside.
We wrote with sticks,
on the ground.”
We learn how the people of Korphe helped Dr. Greg and how Dr. Greg wanted to give back to the people of Korphe. Dr. Greg asked the wise man how he could help. The wise man said, “Listen to the wind.”
Dr. Greg closed his eyes and heard the voices of the children.
The language throughout the entire book is inviting. I love the use of “folds” to describe the mountains.
“We watched him walk away until he disappeared into the folds of the mountains.”
Susan L. Roth’s collage illustrations are breath-taking. I had a difficult time deciding which pages to include in this post!
The outcome of all their hard work is displayed powerfully in the final spread, which includes a letter from the children of Korphe and an illustration of them studying in their new school.
“We are the children of Korphe. Can you hear our voices?
Listen to the wind . . .”
The end of the book includes a beautiful Korphe scrapbook as well as an artist’s note.
My favorite photograph in the scrapbook is of Haji Ali, the wise man who tells Dr. Greg to “listen to the wind.”