Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bonnie Bess The Weathervane Horse

Bonnie Bess the Weathervane Horse
Alvin Tresselt ~ Erik Blegvad
Parents' Magazine Press, 1970


With the weather being as heartbreaking and insane as it's been the past month here in the U.S., I thought it appropriate to take a look at this sometimes heartbreaking but ultimately redeeming tale of things lost and found.

Bonnie Bess was a trotting horse.
She didn't live in a barn with other horses.
She didn't carry little children on her back.
She didn't graze in the pasture on the hill.
She didn't even drink out of the big water trough in the backyard.
Bonnie Bess was a weathervane horse and
she swung back and forth in the wind on top of a barn.


As most of you know, I'm a huge fan of Blegvad's tight little drawings, and have a ton of books that he illustrated for other people that I've never even bothered to read. I just like looking at the pretty pictures. Here though, Tresselt (White Snow Bright Snow) does an excellent job of telling the story of a once flourishing and then abandoned barn and the weathervane that gets left behind. Shot at and rusted out, when it finally falls from the rotting building, it's lost in the bushes until a junk shop owner finds it, setting it on a long path back home.

The copyright page says the story was written in 1949, so it must have appeared in a book with a different illustrator or as a poem or story somewhere. Anyone know?

Having always lived someplace with a barn in the vicinity, I love weathervanes. Ahhh, the romance of a two-purpose item with the goals of simply looking pretty and telling us which way the wind blows. Kinda the Vanna White of decorative items, no?

Also by:
Plenty of Fish
Mud Pies and Other Recipes
A Year is a Window
The Last of the Wizards
The Diamond in the Window
The Mitten
The Land of Lost Buttons
White Snow Bright Snow

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7 comments:

Ms. ∆×∆p×≥h/4π said...

These beautiful water color skies!
The illustration reminds me of my childhood books...(late 1940s)

Marilyn Chapman said...

Hi - just found your blog - and I love it.... I collect vintage books for adults and children (as well as having an interest in ghosts.) My latest buy was The Little Woodman by 'Mrs Sherwood' which says on the coverleaf it was given as a Sunday school prize to Beatrice Balmforth by her teacher in 1891. Beatrice lived somewhere in the North of England. Really enjoyed your weather vane story - will look out for more!

Jil Casey said...

Nice illustrations, like this artist's work!

B. Streetman said...

wow marilyn, cool and thanks!

Bob Logan said...

Wow!

I borrowed The Swineherd with Erik's illustrations.
I love his work! Great find!

klsprout said...

Growing up, this was my favorite book! My grandfather owned a metalworking shop, and he made me an actually Bonnie Bess weathervane. I display it with love in my house to this day, and I read Bonnie Bess to my kids!

klsprout said...

Growing up, this was my favorite book! My grandfather owned a metalworking shop, and he made me an actually Bonnie Bess weathervane. I display it with love in my house to this day, and I read Bonnie Bess to my kids!

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