The Christmas Wind is special. It is very, very special. And I suspect that it will be the Christmas book for this year and many to follow because of its secular telling of the Christmas story without getting bogged down in the religion"
Brooke Kerrigan's images evoke the power of the wind, the warmth of the simple house, and the strength of a young girl bent on caring for her family."
- Helen Kubiw, CanLit for little Canadians
THE CHRISTMAS WIND
Stephanie McLellan • Illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan • Red Deer Press
As Jo helps her mother and her baby brother on a cold and windy Christmas Eve, she searches for shelter — any kind of shelter — for the little family. Her mother is ill and the baby needs feeding.
There is no other option but a barn owned by a local farmer known as a solitary grouch. Nobody cares for Franklin Murdoch, and Jo doesn't trust him to care for her family.
But Murdoch turns out to be less of a threat than Jo has feared. He makes the desperate family a warm sanctuary in his home. And when the wind has died and snow falls on Christmas morning, peace has come to them all.
Stephanie Simpson McLellan's spare text is complemented by the subtle but beautiful art of Brooke Kerrigan in a book that is a reminder of the essential story of Christmas.
The wind elbowed Jo's mother and kicked her to the ground.
"Stop it!" Jo shook her fist at the sky. Ignoring her, the wind stole her scarf and blew out the light.
Her plan was to be on a bus halfway to someplace else by now, but they weren't even close to the station.
She pulled her mother to her feet. With a howl, the wind forced them off the road and into the prickly fields.
This starkly beautiful story highlights the heroic spirit of a young girl and the generosity of a stranger in a book that reveals what the real spirit of Christmas is all about.
Starred selection on the CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
Available for purchase directly from Red Deer Press or from your favourite bookstore, online retailer or wholesale bookseller.
"Soft watercolor washes and pencil illustrations in muted tones often accentuate the words through unusual visual perspectives. The opening image of a scarf blown away from the forlorn family on the ground sets the stage for this lovely, thinly veiled retelling of the Bible story. . . A charming use of a modern setting to convey the familiar theme of the Christmas story."
Kirkus Starred Review