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
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.
View Biographical note
Stephanie Simpson McLellan
is the author of the Mr. Christie Award-winning book, The Chicken Cat. She reviewed children's books for twelve years for Today's Parent magazine, and has worked in children's television.
Prior to the release of The Christmas Wind, Stephanie worked with almost 1,700 primary students in every province/territory of Canada (plus one school in Australia) on a unique literacy initiative that resulted in over 13,000 student drawings of Jo, Murdock and the wind. The Christmas Wind Story Project involved the Canadian Children's Book Centre in the spring of 2016, and was a top 10 finalist in the 2016 CST Inspired Minds Learning Project Contest (ChristmasWindStoryProject.com).
has loved to draw ever since she was a little girl. If there was a pencil nearby she couldn't resist the urge pick it up and begin to doodle, so it seemed only natural that she grow up to become an artist. Of all her creative endeavors, illustrating children's books is her favourite.
Born in Toronto, she currently lives in a little town in the French Alps that inspires her every day.
Brooke has illustrated six previous picture books, among them Kiss Me: I'm a Prince!, Dog Breath and Fishermen Through and Through — nominated for a Blue Spruce Award.
View Review text
"The lovely, soft illustrations, created by Brooke Kerrigan to suggest an earlier time in the last century, are a perfect match to the gentle, spare prose of the story. Her depiction of the prairie windstorm will make readers shiver. The Christmas Wind will make an excellent addition to the elementary library's collection of seasonal picture books. . . It would make a fine read aloud for the holiday season."
— CM Magazine
"This charming read reminds us of what is most important during the festive season and has many elements of the original Christmas story hidden within its spare text and stunning illustrations. Both McLellan and Kerrigan have outdone themselves in the creation of this beautiful new Christmas story."
— Canadian Children's Book News
View Additional Information
The Christmas Wind was originally scheduled for a fall 2015 launch. From January to June 2015 Stephanie worked with 1,000 primary students across the country (from B.C. to Labrador) on an exciting literacy/visualization project that involved the words of this book called The Christmas Wind Story Project. Internal production delays led to a delay in the book’s launch to fall 2017. In the interim, Stephanie has continued the Christmas Wind Story Project and has been working with one class from each province and territory of Canada (sourced with the invaluable assistance of The Canadian Children’s Book Centre) on this rewarding literacy initiative.
The Christmas Wind Story Project challenged students from junior kindergarten to Grade 6 to listen to a story in a format akin to an old, serialized radio show. Each week, for 8 weeks, an audio portion of a story was uploaded to their class webpage and they were asked to illustrate what they imagined. Because the book was not published the students had a clean, uninfluenced slate to start from.
To see more on this project go to christmaswindstoryproject.com.