Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Red Wool Man

The Red Wool Man
Edna Luginbuhl ~ Caroline Sharpe ~ Abelard-Schuman, 1971

I'd never seen this title until a few days ago, but I'd be interested to see how many others remember it. It seems like one of those books that would stick in the memory of a child. I love how when I read it to my son, he's so willing to suspend disbelief, as if a scrap of wool gets transformed into a man everyday.It was a beautiful, sunny day.
The wind was teaching little breezes
how to blow and one little breeze
went skipping through an open window.
In the room was a knitting bag
filled with purple wool and yellow wool,
orange wool and blue wool, green wool and red wool.
The little breeze scooped up the red wool
and took it dancing out the window
over the lawn and into the meadow.

As if by magic, the bit of stray wool transforms into a little wool man and comes to rest beside a running stream. He then meets a series of animals and has a few adventures where through a tricky play of words he becomes as strong as a horse, as brave as a lion, as quick as a fox, as wise as an owl, as busy as a bee and as quiet as a mouse before falling asleep in the pocket of a scarecrow. Published originally in Britain, I'm not sure if it ever had an American publisher. The dear, little illustrations have a sweet softness that remind me of something you might see in a dream. The flow of the drawings really pass along the sense of motion and breezes and of a world where something as fragile as a little wool man might walk among the earth's creatures and prove himself.

I often fear the world has gotten so big and bold and crass, that stories as innocent as this might ultimately get lost in the shuffle. Here's to fighting the good fight.


Victoria Stitch said...

I actually just had to go and find this book on ebay! It looks so beautiful! Thankyou for sharing!

Chandra said...

Very nice! I may have to get a copy myself!

Esme Raji Codell said...

Wow, really reminds me of the work of Meilo So. Lovely, thanks for sharing.

Lise said...

The day you posted this, I looked for it on and found it right away. It came this week and I've read it over and over, requested by the boy who generally requests the most action-packed books. I love it when quiet vintage books prove themselves like that. Thanks for teh recommendation!

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