Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Wind Blew



Image source: Overstock
Author/Illustrator: Pat Hutchins
Ages: 0-3
Publisher: Aladdin

Of all the five elements, the most interesting to the illustrator has to be Air. Air, in motion, while elusive in form, is so expressive in action. We feel the gust of air in an overcoat ballooned up and flying high, in an upturned umbrella, in a balloon mid-air, turned sideways, trying to catch an air current. Pat Hutchins captures Air in flight in The Wind Blew.

Here, wind is like a toddler, comical and alive in action, the subject and the doer of mischief and we see this mischief in how it picks up different people's belongings, twirling, whirling it around, just out of arm's reach, while the possessor chases it down, in a vain attempt to assert control over this rambunctious invisible force.

Snatch, sweep, pluck, lift, whip, spin - the variety of verbs that Hutchins uses to describe the action are just as entertaining as the hilarious expressions on peoples' faces when they realize their hat/scarf/umbrella has been lifted/tossed/fluttered around.

What use does the wind have, though, for a wig, newspapers, and balloons? These are merely objects to play with, things to amuse and entertain.

For, where the wind truly belongs, where it lives in its element is out at sea, so that's where we see it sail into the horizon after bidding adieu to land, its inhabitants and their material possessions. The Wind Blew is a light read which promises to bring smiles and giggles to reader of any age.

6 comments:

utbtkids said...

Anusha, you nailed it! To portray an abstract element an artist needs out of the box thinking!

Interesting book!

Tharini said...

It does sound like a bunch of fun. Though what you said about how it loved to be entertained by its own actions, somehow reminded me of this cosmic drama of life and how it is all supposed to be a Divine sport. In effect we are the ones chasing after some possession or the other, trying vainly to catch it, with fear of losing it...isn't it? So in that respect, it feels rather profound.

Anusha said...

utbt: it is probably also the most fun to sketch though - comical at times, raging at times.

T: :) your perspective adds an angle to the book that I didn't think of, it does add up when you think about it like that..

Meera Sriram said...

We've read this. Very neatly reviewed Anusha! I love the wordplay and art work in this book.

Vibha said...

Love the cover page Anusha and very true, it is indeed an interesting challenge to illustrate Air.

Praba said...

The words are as refreshing as the gentle monsoon breeze outside. And mischievous indeed when the same wind knocks down my terracotta pots! :)

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