Willa and the Wind

Willa and the Wind

5.0 1
by Janice M. Del Negro, Heather M. Solomon

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
An old fairy tale undergoes a magical transformation in Del Negro's (Lucy Dove) capable hands. According to the old Norse tale, a boy receives charmed gifts from the North Wind, and loses them just as quickly to a scoundrel landlord. Del Negro's version stars a girl named Willa Rose Mariah McVale and adds depth and spirit to the entire cast, while Solomon's (Clever Beatrice) swirly-whirly watercolors have the effect of letting spring light into a musty attic. Willa gets magic gifts from the North Wind, too, but the real charm of this version is derived from her spirited exchanges with the pale, chilly-looking Old Windy. Solomon paints Willa with a red peasant dress and long fiery braids; she looks like a cousin of Pippi Longstocking, and sounds like her, too: "Don't yell at me, you no-good, no-account thieving windbag!" she shouts. "I want the cornmeal you stole, so give it back." Old Windy replies in blue upper-case letters, almost poignantly (and with the ability to make a good pun, as well). "Look, little girl," he says, "I am a fair wind." Willa convinces Old Windy to keep helping her until she can punish the true thief (gently) and impress her skeptical sister, to boot. Solomon's mixed-media artwork layers watercolors that give the compositions movement, and readers can pore over details in the collage of flower and fauna, elfin and woodland creatures. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Text and illustrations, both humorous and exquisitely detailed, match beautifully in telling the story of Willa born in a windy valley in the windy middle of nowhere. When the north wind "on holiday from work, but not from making mischief" swoops down and steals Willa's cornmeal, she marches off to his home, her bright red braids flailing. Old Windy swears he is honest, and sends Willa back with a magic handkerchief, which a wicked innkeeper steals. Then Windy gives her a goat that grants gold coins on demand, and the innkeeper steals again. Windy's final gift, and warning that he is honest, both invites the innkeeper's greed and gives the fiery Willa a satisfying way of getting her gifts back and teaching the innkeeper a lesson. With wonderful text, beautiful illustrations, and a fascinating story this book will charm both the reader and the listener. 2005, Marshal Cavendish Children, Ages 3 to 7.
—Elisabeth Greenberg
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A girl visits the North Wind to rebuke him for keeping the rain clouds away and for blowing away the last bit of cornmeal. Old Windy, blustery and only slightly chastened, provides her with a magical, food-producing handkerchief, but a wicked innkeeper whom she encounters on her route home steals it from her. Willa returns twice more to Old Windy, who gives her a second magical gift-a gold-producing goat, quickly stolen by the innkeeper-and finally a third-a whistle to call up the wind and spin the man until he returns her other gifts. Del Negro's retelling of Peter Asbjirnsen and Jirgen Moe's "The Lad Who Went to the North Wind" invests the tale with an immediacy that will be great for telling or reading aloud. The magic, combined with the satisfaction of justice served and patience and courage rewarded, is a perfect recipe, told with a twinkle. Solomon's big-boned, big-eyed elongated figures echo the story's northern roots but have a delicious energy of their own in the swirling full-color, full-page illustrations.-Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A literary retelling of an old Norse tale has Willa confronting the wind after he steals her cornmeal. During each of three confrontations with the wind, Willa is given three magic objects. Each night on the way home, Willa stays at an inn, where the keeper steals each of the first two items and leaves an ordinary replacement. The final item, a magic whistle, proves to be the innkeeper's undoing. Brilliant watercolors advance the story line and provide a vibrant and energetic setting and a translucent cloud blows through the pages. The only flaw is the portion of the text-all capital letters in a blue font-meant to indicate the wind's role in the story; it actually serves to jolt the reader and detract from the aesthetics of the design. Nonetheless, an enjoyable read-aloud. (Fiction. 9-14)

Product Details

Cavendish Square Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.50(d)
AD880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Willa and the Wind 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!