Friday, April 5, 2019

Good Night, Wind Book Review

Book Review
Good Night, Wind
Written by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrated by Maelle Doliveux
Published February 26, 2019

Why we chose this book:
We have recently been perusing the folktales section in our library and really enjoying them, so they are now on my radar. Holiday House provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Mom's Review
Folktales are a lovely way to connect with another culture. It has been quite some time since I've sought out folktales, but a meander through the children's section reconnected us and now T and I are to the point of selecting favorite themes. Among these themes, which heavily feature monsters, is anger. You may recall that we've reviewed a number of anger-related books, such as Allie All Along and Hands are Not for Hitting, with an emphasis on realistic characters and healthy ways to handle emotion. Now that I think about it, I'm kicking myself that I didn't think to turn to folktales sooner. So many seem to address treatment of others, including inciting anger and lashing out in anger.  T is now at the point where he empathizes with characters unprompted, whether they resemble him or not. I am now much more cognizant that folktales teach and entertain. We connect with different cultures, draw connections, and witness global truths.

In Good Night, Wind, inspired by a Yiddish folktale, the Winter Wind becomes increasingly angry when he cannot find a place to rest as spring approaches. Denied comfort at every turn, he lashes out until a little girl tells him to stop and leads him to a cool cave to rest until it is his season again. On the surface, we can appreciate the incredible cut-paper artistry of Doliveux and the magical storytelling of Elovitz Marshall. Looking a tiny bit deeper, we can assess what leads to Wind's angry outburst, identify with his feelings, and suggest alternatives to his behavior. T and I talked about Wind's feelings and actions, those of the characters around him, and how they impacted one another. The simplicity of the tale made analysis feasible for a four-year old. There's a lot to unpack, but the wrapping's not complicated. Whether it is amusement, exposure to a Yiddish folktale, or seeing how one's behavior affects others, Good Night, Wind is one picture book to immerse yourself in countless times.

Son's Review
(Age: 4)
Mom: How do you think Wind felt when he couldn't find a place to rest?

Son: Sad and angry.

Mom: What would you do if you met Wind?

Son: I would make him a home. I'll tell you how I would make it. So, I would find a cave. Then I would fill up cans with ingredients. Then I would put the cans in the cave. Then I would put the leaves in the cave. Then I would put the Wind in the cave. Then I would put snow on the Wind to make the Wind extra cozy like a blanket.

Mom: I really like your idea! Would you want to meet the little children? Would you want to play with them?

Son: Yeah. I would tell them how I would make a home for the Wind. Yes. Since I would help them find a cave.

Mom: How did you feel when we read Good Night, Wind?

Son: Sad for the Wind because because the Wind couldn't find a resting place.

Mom: Did it make you want to do anything?

Son: It made me want to cry about the Wind because I was sad for the Wind.

Mom: What was your favorite part of the story?

Son: It was when Wind was angry because at last he found a place to rest after he was angry. I like how the pictures look.
favorite pictures of Wind

Mom: When is it a good time to read Good Night, Wind?

Son: When I'm angry.

Mom: Who might like this book?

Son: Everyone who likes being angry I suppose.

Mom: But is Wind angry the whole time?

Son: No.

Mom: So is this maybe about more than just being angry? What else is it about?

Son: It's more. Being happy. For some of the time he's sad and for some of the time he's angry and for some of the time he's happy. And for some of the time he was grumpy and for some of the time he was sad and for some of the time he was old and that's all.

Mom: And what's the most important thing to know about Good Night, Wind?

Son: That you should never plop down on something without asking.

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