The North Wind & The Sun - Illustrations by Brian Wildsmith

I was really pleased to come across this book at the local op-shop, because it features the wonderful lively and quirky illustrations of one of my favourite illustrators, Brian Wildsmith, who I've blogged about previously with his books The Owl and the Woodpecker and Python's Party
The book is called "The North Wind and The Sun" and is a fable by La Fontaine, first published in 1964. The fable centres around the Northwind and the Sun, and how they compete by different methods to get the horseman to remove his new cloak.  
The fable has a great moral lesson (see below) but it's the whimsical and playful illustrations that transform this story into a delightful book to look at and read.  Using a multi-media approach Wildsmith's imagery mixes gouache, some kind of crayon or oil pastel (I imagine the latter), collage and inks to create his trademark expressive illustrative style full of energy and movement. 
"The North Wind and The Sun" - A Fable by La Fontaine:

One morning the North Wind and The Sun saw a horseman wearing a new cloak. 

"That young man looks very pleased with his new cloak" said the North Wind.  "But I could easily blow it off his back if I wanted to"
"I don't think you could" said the Sun.  "But let us both try to do it.  You can try first."

The North Wind began to blow and blow and blow.  People had to chase after their hats.  Leaves were blown from the trees.  All the animals were fightened.  The ships in the harbour were sunk.  The North Wind blew with all his might, but it was no use, for the horseman just pulled his cloak more tightly around him.

"My turn now," cried the Sun.

And as he gave out his gentle heat, insects hummed and flowers opened.  The birds began to sing.  The animals lay down to sleep.  And the people came out to gossip.  The horseman began to feel very hot, and when he came to a river he took off his clothes and went for a swim.

So the Sun was able to acheive by warmth and gentleness what the North Wind in all his strength and fury could not do.

A great lesson for us all I think!

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful illustrations and story a great reminder for all of us.

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