The Wind May Blow / Someday

Here are two beautiful picture books kindly sent for review by Little Tiger

The Wind May Blow
Sasha Quinton and Thomas Hegbrook

With its cut away pages and tender illustrations this is a beautiful book – both visual and verbal – for adults to share with little ones.

The voice is that of an adult speaking to a young child, “On the day you were born the sun rose brilliant and bright and beautiful,” in a place where “the sun rose and kissed your toes as warm roses bloomed in each cheek.”

Time passes, the child grows to face a life that inevitably isn’t all filled with sun and roses: stormy times are likely to occur. 

What’s required then is to stop, pause and take time to breathe deeply 

in the knowledge that you have the inner strength, life skills and whatever is needed to face challenges, overcome adversity and emerge out of the storm. The moon will be there burning brighter down on you and when the sun rises next morning, so too will you. There’s always the possibility of a new beginning.

So goes the seemingly simple, gently affirming wise message of this cleverly designed book with its die-cuts strategically placed throughout.

Altogether a splendid amalgam of words, pictures and design that is just right for many occasions: adults will know when it’s appropriate to revisit this timely picture book after a first reading.

Someday
Stephanie Stansbie and Frances Ives

When a little bear cub tells his mother one morning that it wants to be just like her, she likens her little one to a sapling that will soon be a tree. This doesn’t quite satisfy the cub, for that so mummy says, won’t be tomorrow. First they have lots of things to do together – memories to make – of happy hours and days spent frolicking through grassland, jumping over rocks, climbing trees in search of juicy berries, splashing and swimming among fish in the fast-flowing waters.

And all the while growing stronger and learning to cope with things that might at first seem frightening.

Then will come the possibility of meeting a mate and producing a new family. As they sit beneath the branches of a spreading tree, Mummy Bear talks of the cub’s memories acting like the tree’s roots keeping it “strong as you grow and flourish and bloom.” It’s their togetherness that prompts the little cub to express happiness in the here and now, with the promise of many many wonderful tomorrows.

Frances Ives’ illustrations capture the warmth and love between ursine mother and offspring; but as it is with bears, so as this lyrical book implies can it be with human parent and little one: memories to cherish as a child grows up and finds his/her way in the world.

Hike

Hike
Pete Oswald
Walker Books

Wordless save for some environmental sounds and labels, this is a truly beautiful book. 

It begins one evening as a man bids goodnight to his child in a room littered with outdoor gear.

Next morning the father wakes the child who packs the gear into a rucksack, the two get into a jeep and head off from their city home into the countryside for the day.

We follow the two as they walk into the forest where they see wildlife aplenty, 

sharing in occasional small dramatic moments as the child copes with some scary challenges. 

The two stop to share snacks, take photos, enjoy the view and finally carry out the task they’ve come to perform – the planting of a sapling they’ve brought with them and the taking of a selfie beside it.

As dusk descends, they leave the woods and drive home. Once there, they don pyjamas, share some cookies and look through a photo album.

Totally immersive, this wonderfully heartwarming book, open to more than one interpretation, is one that needs slow and careful reading of every page: I love the variety of perspectives and the wealth of visual clues we’re given. I love too, how Oswald shows us the natural world through the lens of the close child/parent relationship. A special day and a special relationship. 

To sum it up, I’ll borrow the title of a very old song ‘Memories are made of this’.