Illustrated by Barry Root
One cold morning in early spring, a bulldozer pushes a pile of garbage around a landfill and uncovers an empty plastic bag — a perfectly good bag, the color of the skin of a yellow onion, with two holes for handles — that someone has thrown away. Just then, a puff of wind lifts the rolling, flapping bag over a chain-link fence and into the lives of several townsfolk — a can-collecting girl, a homeless man, a store owner — not that all of them notice. Renowned poet Ted Kooser fashions an understated yet compassionate world full of happenstance and connection, neglect and care, all perfectly expressed in Barry Root’s tender illustrations.
About BAG IN THE WIND, Barry Root says, ” The day I started sketching, I glanced out of my studio and saw a plastic bag caught on a weed stalk. I grabbed a sketchbook and sat down to draw. As I finished, the bag unhooked itself and blew away. It isn’t always easy to get such as good model.”
True to the book’s earth-friendly spirit, it is printed on paper containing 100 percent recycled post-consumer waste and includes an author’s note on recycling plastic bags.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR
Ted Kooser lives in rural Garland, Nebraska, with his wife, Kathleen, and three dogs. He is one of America’s most noted poets, having served two terms as U. S. Poet Laureate and, during the second term, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection, DELIGHTS & SHADOWS. He is a retired life insurance executive who now teaches part-time at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The school board in Lincoln, Nebraska, recently opened Ted Kooser Elementary School, which Ted says is his greatest honor, among many awards and distinctions. He has published twelve collections of poetry and several nonfiction books. The latter include two books on writing, THE POETRY HOME REPAIR MANUAL andWRITING BRAVE AND FREE, the book of essays LOCAL COLOR, and a memoir, LIGHTS ON A GROUND OF DARKNESS (all from University of Nebraska Press.) BAG IN THE WIND from Candlewick is his first children’s book, with which he is delighted.
Barry Root has illustrated many books for children, including THE CAT WHO LIKED POTATO SOUP by Terry Farish and THE BIRTHDAY TREE by Paul Fleischman. He lives in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.