Cover image for Don't forget Winona
Don't forget Winona
Peterson, Jeanne Whitehouse.
Publication Information:
New York : Joanna Cotler Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
A young girl describes her family's experiences--and her younger sister's antics--when a drought forces them to make their way on Route 66 from Oklahoma to California.
Reading Level:
550 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.8 0.5 78065.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 2.9 3 Quiz: 36387 Guided reading level: L.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



Winona waved her kerchief and called: "Good-bye, cat! Good-bye, swing! Don't forget me!" Like so many Americans in the late 1930s, Winona's family must flee the dust bowl and begin the long trip west to California in hopes of starting a better life. The road they travel is Route 66, now a celebrated historic highway. Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson's beautiful text and the illuminated artwork of Kimberly Bulcken Root bring this one journey of thousands to life. don't forget winona is not only a stirring portrait of the migration westward that would reshape the face of America, but it is also a celebration of how the strength of a family can weather the most difficult of times.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

K-Gr. 2. The migration of the Okies from the Dust Bowl to California is brought to a child's level in this story about a family looking for a better place. The road they travel is Route 66. The unnamed narrator has a younger sister, Winona, who doesn't want to go but doesn't want to be left behind. Peterson does a good job of capturing the hardships of travel, especially when there's no money--not even for a soda pop. In New Mexico, Winona does get left behind, and the trauma takes time to get over. Finally, they arrive at the promised land, where We'll pick oranges in winter and strawberries in spring. Peterson's free verse is initially hard to read aloud, but it's effective in setting the personal story against the larger one. Root's paintings are masterful pieces of storytelling on their own. They portray individuals with hopes, fears, and dreams, set against an ever-shifting landscape; even the sky looks different as the travelers move on. An afterword offers more about the road west. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-A young girl describes her family's departure from the dust bowl of Oklahoma in the late 1930s. Her little sister Winona shouts out, "Don't forget me!" and it becomes the child's signature line. With their belongings piled on the back of their truck, the family heads west on Route 66. When Winona is accidentally left behind after a rest stop ("Oh no!- We forgot Winona!"), a trucker saves the day. The line is repeated at the conclusion as Ma and Pa make plans for migrant life upon their arrival in California. The writing is competent, but not terribly compelling, and the author never creates a strong feeling of identification with the characters. Root's breezy, grainy illustrations, evolving from tan to deep blue, convey both the dryness of dust and the refreshment of water and shade. Back matter includes a map of the journey and notes about the road's historical significance. Pair this with Natalie Cole's upbeat rendition of "Route 66" on Unforgettable (Elektra, 1991) and encourage children to listen for the phrase that must have inspired the book's title. An additional purchase where historical picture books are popular.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.