Saturday, June 1, 2013
Windblown, by Edouard Manceau.OwlKids Books., 2013. $16.95 ages 3 and up
"I blew and blew as hard
as I might.
I toppled the tree found
by the frog,
shaped by the snail,
that the bird made into paper
that the fish cut into the pieces
that the chicken saw lying
It's truly AMAZING what you can make with shapes when you set your artistic juices to work. Edouard Manceau proves it with panache and wondrous imagination in his newest book. Using his signature collage style, he brings a multitude of animal characters to life, at the mercy of the wind.
The characters are familiar...a chicken, a fish, a bird, a snail, a frog...and they come together when the wind blows seven shapes hither and yon. Those shapes are claimed by each of the animals, who deem themselves worthy of ownership and all for good reason. As the tale grows longer, and the cumulative story builds one claim upon the other, it is the wind who has the final say in what will happen:
"'And with one last gust,
I’ll blow them over to you.'
They’re yours now too.
What will you do?"
You don't want to be without a collection of the shapes shown, once the reading is complete. You'll find a template here: activity page on the Owlkids website. Oh, the fun to be had when children are let loose with the cut-out shapes and their own imaginations.
Other books that are sure to be perfect companion reads are Perfect Square and My Heart is a Zoo, both created by Michael Hall and embraced by every young child with whom I have shared them. They, too, are visually delightful and will encourage further exploration.
There's a lot here to encourage learning...counting, shapes, vocabulary, and even a cumulative storytelling form. You don't need to add much to make a new image every time you move the shapes around: so, read the book and then wait for the joy to be found in using the imagination to create new and personal work!