Friday, September 19, 2008
Weslandia, by Paul Fleichman, illustrated by Kevin Hawke, (1999). This book has a lot of things to do with nature in it--how people and nature coexist. But this book is fantasy, not non-fiction. A kid called Wesley did not like anything that the other boys in his neighborhood like. He didn't like pizza and soda (like me!) and he refused to shave the hair off half his head, like the other boys in the neighborhood, even for five dollars. One day he decided for his summer project he would make his own civilization from a staple crop. This staple crop he called "swist." The seeds came by a strong west wind, and grew taller than his house, and attracted animals galore. This plant had amazingly delicious fruits, as well as tubers on its roots. Wesley invented his own machines, and made the fibers into clothes. The other children used to chase him, but now they went to work for him, ten minutes a day at the grinding stone, grinding the seeds to make oil, and buying the oil that was good sunscreen and bug repellent. He even made up sports.
When school started, he had no limit to friends. And he had succeeded in making his own civilization.
I like this book because of all the neat stuff he does with his wonderful plants.