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relatable.

{May is Jewish Heritage Month}

good night wind coverGood Night, Wind : A Yiddish Folktale

by Linda Elovitz Marshall. Illus. by Maëlle Doliveux

Holiday House, 2019. Hardcover Picture book, 32 pages

Now that his season is done, “an old, wandering [Winter Wind is] searching for a place to rest.” The villagers aren’t interesting in allowing him in. The old tree and the rock find his freezing presence to be threatening as well. When it seems he has no place to go to rest,

“Winter Wind blasted out across the fields, crying like a child, howling like a dog, wailing like a cat.

With sleeves rolled and feet stomping, wind whipped up a whistling, screeching blizzard.”

A big sister isn’t about to put up with Winter Wind’s tantrum—he is frightening her little brother after all.

Wind is acting like a tired, angry baby, the girl told her brother.

The little boy wiped his eyes and asked, “Maybe Wind needs a nap?”

The siblings are the ones to both figure out the problem and find the solution, leading the very tired Wind to place where he can rest and no one will be disturbed.

The story is relatable one of weariness and ingratitude. The children are bold and empathetic. And of course a protective older sister knows the protective places; of course, the tearful brother knows such an emotional expression has context. The story does a good job of drawing sympathy with each of the characters, inviting understanding and increasing the tension (desire) for a satisfactory solution.

good night wind interior 1
illustration by Maëlle Doliveux (from Good Night, Wind)

Doliveux’s cut paper illustrations are utterly charming; they complement the playful tone and layered meaning of the folktale. It moves with color and texture and light, capturing the idea of wind and the way the wind is being carried along by the story. Her medium is unusual in picture books, which adds to the appeal of including this in your library. I’d also verify how many Yiddish folktales you have in your collection as well.

Good Night, Wind is a story for young and old alike. (Maybe the older can read it to the younger?).

good night wind rev
illustration by Maëlle Doliveux (from Good Night, Wind)

Other cut-paper illustrated books you should check out: My Father’s Arms are a Boat by Lunde ; Damm’s The Visitor ; And Elly Mackay’s books

Linda Elovitz Marshall is the author of many picture books for children, including the Talia and… series of Jewish holiday books including The Passover Lamb, which was a Sydney Taylor notable book.

Maëlle Doliveux is an award-winning artist and illustrator whose work has appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York TimesNewsweek, The Boston Globe, and Vulture. She is also the cofounder of Beehive Books, an independent comics publisher. She has won both gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators and has been a judge for the MoCCA Arts Festival Award of Excellence along with Joan Hilty and Rutu Modan. This is her first book.

 

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