Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Don't forget Winona

Don't forget Winona

Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson
Illustrator:  Kimberly Bulcken Root 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
HarperCollins, 2004   ISBN: 0060271973

It is not easy being Winona’s big sister. Winona does not listen, and when the family is all packed up to leave, Sarah cannot find the little girl anywhere. Then, at last Winona is found, sitting in the back of the truck with the “cook pots and the blankets.” Winona wants to make sure that she is not left behind.

Winona and her family are leaving their farm in Oklahoma because “of the wind and the dust storms.” They are going west, where they hope Pa will be able to find work.

Sarah is able to keep Winona out of trouble all the way to the New Mexico state line, and then the little girl wanders off on her own. Unfortunately, no one notices until some time later that Winona is no longer with them.

This delightful picture book shows young readers what it was like for a family to leave their home in Oklahoma to go west. Thousands of “Okies” were forced to sell or abandon their farms because of the drought and the dust storms that were the symptoms of the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. The author of this book describes the kinds of adventures these families had, and the hopes that they had for the future.

An author’s note at the back of the book provides readers with further information about the Dust Bowl and the journey “Okies” made along Route 66.