What Color Is the Wind?

What Color Is the Wind?


Written and illustrated by Anne Herbauts
Translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick

A blind child questions all he encounters—a dog, wolf, elephant, mountain, bird, stream, and tree—about the color of the wind. Each responds differently, with a shape, color, smell, texture, or idea. Each page displays a visual and tactile palette of cutouts, textures, colors. It is a sensory experience that makes the invisible experiential, ending with the wind as the pages fly.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-221-3
10" (W) x 10" (H) • 48 pages • TP

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"Herbauts incorporates embossing, die-cut holes, and various shapes in smooth, transparent overlays so that the illustrations require touch as much as sight to apprehend." —Kirkus Reviews

"The question of the title is asked by 'the little giant,' a blind boy...He strides boldly through the pages in a blue sweater and black boots, putting his question to everything he meets—a mountain, a stream, an apple tree. 'What color is the wind?' he asks a dog. On the page, a dog-shaped outline is seen in the grass by the boy’s boots. The dog can’t be seen, but it can be felt with a finger; its fur is embossed on the page. 'It is pink, flowery, pale white,' the dog answers. Each being’s answer reflects its own nature or experience ('Red!' answers an apple), and there’s a windy surprise at the end. The artwork—inventive, delicate, and innocent—combines paintings overlaid with embossed and varnished areas and even, on the cover, Braille. Herbauts’ visual and verbal poetry draws attention to all the different ways creatures know what they know. It’s not just a read-aloud—it’s a touch-aloud, too, to be shared by blind and sighted children alike." —Publisher's Weekly

"While this thought-provoking story might go over the heads of some little ones, the offbeat questions, beautiful artwork, and unique multi-sensory approach will be simply enchanting for creative-minded children." —Booklist

"Herbauts paints the sensory landscape with extraordinarily inventive bookmaking techniques...appleseeds peek through a die-cut hole, raindrops gleam embossed on a laminated page, debossed grooves invite the touch of tree bark. What emerges is a parallel invitation to empathy and self-expansion in imagining the world as the unsighted experience it and exploring a different sensorial space than the one we sighted humans ordinarily inhabit. Just as the universe of smell unlocks hidden layers of reality, so does the universe of touch."—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"I think this little book is a bit of a wonder. Deeply appealing to children of all ages, to say nothing of the adults out there, with so many uses, and so many applications. It reminds me of the old picture books by Bruno Munari that weren’t afraid to try new things with the picture book format." —Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal

"The illustrations are enchanting, worth touching, too, for their textured surfaces. Readers will like the surprise ending where the little boy feels the wind and learns its color." —The Vermont Country Sampler


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