CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 26. . . .March 11, 2016
In this poetic picture book, a young boy (inspired by Barbara Nickel’s own inquisitive son) wonders where the wind lives. The wind “hummed” and “hammered” and answered the child’s question by taking him on a whirlwind journey around the world. Blowing across the Canadian prairies, the warm wind is called Chinook and “whistle[s] spring into the land”. Always on the move, the wind howls across water and turns into fierce Papagayo gales. As it gusts up South Africa’s Table Mountain, it becomes the Cape Doctor, beneficially “moisten[ing] the air to green the slopes” and clearing away smog and pollution. Settling over Iraq, the Shamal wind kicks up a dust storm amidst gun fire and bomb blasts, poignantly reflecting, “I’m hit each time they fire through me, the moving air … but can they divide me like the land?” As the fury and ferocity of the wind lessens, it comes full circle, returning the boy home on a gentle, Zephyr breeze.
Gillian Newland’s watercolour illustrations vividly capture the changing personality of the wind, as well as the very different landscapes. Wispy puffs of warm air swirl around a herd of bison on one spread while billowing clouds and twirling lines acrobatically snatch hats and send balloons skyward on the next. The warzone scenes are drenched in sepia tones and are hauntingly splattered with ink.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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