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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Storybooks come and go, but The Wind's Tale by Paul Steven Stone will stay in your heart and mind. It opens with the profound analogy of our bodies being houses where on the inside, a quiet person can see all the magic in the world. This is the story of an unnamed quadriplegic boy who lives in an apartment building in a big city. Despite the limitations to his movements, he possesses a creative imagination that will take you to a world that is both sad and happy according to his perspective. He looks through the window of their apartment and describes the world as it unravels: the sunset and its changing moods, the seagulls that laugh at almost anything, and the wind that sings to a humorless tree. The boy is also a silent audience to the dialogue between his older brother and their babysitter. In these conversations, he will throw in his ten cents worth in silence - by using his imagination to illustrate his point.
The Wind’s Tale is a powerful study in cognitive and emotional empathy for individuals with spinal cord injury in a rhythmic flow of verse that sings in its simplicity. Paul Steven Stone has creatively put together the aspects that explicitly combine the quadriplegic boy’s feelings and observations while at the same time giving two exterior perspectives - one is that of his empathetic brother and the other is that of the babysitter who falls short of grasping how to deal with the boy’s neurological malady. The arresting luminosity of Carla Carey’s watercolor illustrations gives the plot an ideal and effective visual impact. This is a story that parents, teachers, counselors, and students should read to have a better understanding of the state of mind and feelings of those who are bound by the limitations of paralysis.