Gilberto and the Wind
Marie Hall Ets
The Viking Press, 1963
A while back, Nicole left me a comment on a post for the book Just Me where she mentioned another Ets book called Gilberto and the Wind. I had just added Gilberto to my collection, and since that day, it's been in major circulation. We've read it two times already just since last night. The book's namesake is a curious little boy who takes on the wind as a playmate. (I envision this same future for my only-child son. Already he's made best friends with the moon and the stars... though seemingly pretty sad and lonely, still packed to the gills with imagination.)
Wind loves to play with the wash on the line. He blows the pillow slips into balloons and shakes the sheets and twists the apron strings. And he pulls out all the clothespins that he can. Then he tries on the clothes--though he knows they are too small.
I'm not positive, but it seems as if the illustrations are done in simple ink and charcoal (pencil?). Though stark, they are filled with such emotion and movement, it is easy to see the wind as the boy does, a living breathing companion to be enjoyed. I love the way the author draws personality comparisons to the mainly finicky traits of the wind. Gilberto races the wind. The wind always wins. When he flies his kite, the wind always drops it. When he rakes the leaves, wind scatters them about again. Super sweet.