Title: Sweet T and the North Wind
Author: Cat Michaels
Release Date: October 2013
Length: 36 pages
Recommended Ages: 5-10
Last time a powerful North Wind blew across the lakes, strange things happened. And the winter when Tara turns ten years old, the North Wind blows sharp and the lakes freeze solid by Thanksgiving. Old-timers from the village warn everyone to take care. Tara, or Sweet T as Grandma calls her, is tired of being cooped up indoors on this coldest winter day, and she tries to make the best of the situation. But when Tara makes a wish that is dearest to her heart, T’s ordinary afternoon leads to an hour of magic that takes her on a journey of discovery and a ride she’ll never forget. This gentle story of a family across the generations weaves enough magic and whimsy to interest children. It also subtly raises the real-life issue of aging. “Sweet T” entertains while opening the door for children to discuss, in an age-appropriate way, the illness of a beloved family member.
***** Review *****
This book was adorable. The illustrations were beautiful and fit perfectly with the story.
Tara, also known as T (or Sweet T after her grandma’s favorite beverage), is getting cabin fever being cooped up in the house. It’s Thanksgiving and the North Wind has already frozen the lake. The old-timers in the village not only are issuing warnings, but they believe the North Wind brings with it something magical.
Sweet T decides that if she can’t ride her scooter outside, she’ll makeshift ride around in the basement. She makes a heartfelt wish, and goes on a journey back in time to her memories. They are good memories, and memories of when her grandma got sick.
The North Wind does indeed bring some magic to town, and at the end of the day Tara’s day she receives some wonderful news.
I commend this book for broaching some of the touchy subjects that we sometimes try to avoid discussing in our culture. The subjects are brought into the story gently and are quite subtle. T describes things in language that kids can understand and would use. It is a great book for approaching this subject with children.
***** About the Author *****
She spins tales of everyday life, with a twist of magic or mayhem, that open young minds to new ways of looking at the world. With more than two decades helping students from kindergarten to college overcome the challenges of learning disabilities and Asperger’s syndrome, Cat’s books encourage students to use their imagination and problem-solving skills as they enjoy reading.
Watercolor artist Irene A. Jahns illustrates Cat’s Sweet T Tales. This series of chapter books for early readers follows the adventures of three sisters. Book 1, Sweet T and the North Wind, is available in print and will debut as an e-book in winter 2014. Book 2, Finding Fuzzy, a You-Decide Tale of a Lost Friend, where children write or draw the story’s ending, earned second place honors in the Purple Dragonfly Book Award.