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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What Color is the Wind? Written and illustrated by Anne Herbauts. Translated from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Enchanted Lion Books, Publiishers Group Canada. 2016. $28.95 ages 5 and up

"So the little giant asks
the rain, What color is
the wind?

The rain knows nothing.

But the bees are buzzing:
the wind is the color of

A stream runs by."

Our blizzard continues. The snow has stopped falling, but has no choice but to be blown about by high winds that still make seeing across the street tough at times. The drifts are high. As soon as they are shovelled away, the sidewalks fill in immediately. So, I went looking for a book about wind to share with you today.

Little did I know that I would find this one, read it again, and be just as stunned by its beauty as I was the first time I read it. I also made even more discoveries about its content upon returning to its pages. The boy you see on the front cover is blind. He wants to know the color of the wind. As often happens when asking a question that seems impossible to answer, he is surprised that the wind is seen in so many different colors by those he asks.

Animals have a say, as do trees, bees, and finally, a giant.

"The little giant comes upon someone
he senses is enormous.
What color is the wind?

And the enormous giant,
with a slow gesture says:
The color of the wind?

It is everything at once.
This whole book.

Then he takes the book and,
thumb against its edge,
he lets the pages fly.

The little giant feels the wind
and its gentleness."

How beautiful!

That is not all. This is a book that puts to bed the idea that children (and adults) have no need for real books. No electronic book could ever have the impact that this book has for its readers. It is too enticing not to follow in the giant's footsteps and let the pages fly. Thus, readers see the rainbow of colors described in the book's pages, and they also feel the lovely breeze. It is a book filled with sensory pleasures. Touch is the most noticeable as the cover has Braille dots, and many of the interior pages are embossed, textural, and an invitation to feel what you might not readily see.

Filled with color and gorgeous artwork, this is a book with many answers to a single question about the wind.  It is a treat for the senses and inspiring on all counts!

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