August 23 – Ride the Wind Day

Happy Ride the Wind Day!

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Wishing the wind is always at your back!

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Wind Flyers written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by Loren Long (2007)

This is a story of Uncle, who remains unnamed, except for the fact that he was a Tuskegee airman in the 332nd Fighter Group. Uncle loved flying since he was a little boy and jumped off the roof of the chicken coop. Later he climbed aboard a barnstormer for twenty-five cents and knew he never wanted to come down. He knew what it felt like to go into the wind, against the wind, and beyond the wind. When he was older, he joined the Air Force and finally became a wind flyer. Sharing his photo album with his nephew, Uncle remembers his friends ‘Young and brave. Brave and young, all.’ And even though times have changed, and planes are faster than ever, Uncle still likes to fly ‘into the wind, against the wind, and beyond the wind’ in his two seater biplane with his nephew.

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Mirandy and Brother Wind written by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (1988)

1989 Caldecott Honor Award winner, this beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Mirandy, a young African-American girl who wants to capture Brother Wind to be her partner in the junior cakewalk. Mirandy asked her ma, her grandmama, and all her neighbors how she could catch Brother Wind, but no one had an answer. Then she heard that you could catch Brother Wind by putting pepper in his tracks, and when he stopped to sneeze you had to throw a quilt over him, but that didn’t work and her friend Ezel just laughed at her for trying. And Mis Poinsettia, the conjure woman, read her a secret from her book and gave Mirandy two beautiful scarves to wear to the cakewalk jubilee that night. However, the conjure didn’t work either and Ezel just laughed. Later, Brother Wind rushed into Ma’s henhouse to stir up some trouble, and Mirandy slammed the door shut and trapped him inside. When it came time to make her wish, Mirandy went back to the henhouse. That night, Mirandy and Ezel danced and pranced around the room ‘Swish! Swish!’ and kicked up their heels ‘Swoosh! Swoosh!’ And, Grandmama exclaimed,”Them chullin’ is dancing with the Wind!”

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The Wind and The Sun written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola (1972)

This popular Aesop’s Tale has been retold many times, but by no one better than Tomie dePaola. One day, the wind and the sun argued about which of them was stronger. Each claimed to be the strongest. Finally they decided on a competition. Whoever could take the cape off the passing man was the winner. The wind blew as strong as it could, but the man only held his cape tighter around himself. When the sun shined down on the man, he became so hot that he finally took off his cape and sat under the shade of a tree to cool down. And that is how the sun showed it was stronger.

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