Wind Says Good Night | A Best Picture Book Review
This is probably my family's absolute favorite bedtime book: a lyrical cumulative story with absolutely stunning pictures!
The Child Can't Go to Sleep!
This is a perfect story for when your own child can't fall asleep!
The night wind, brushing a window, whispers "go to sleep." But the child cannot fall asleep because Mockingbird is singing outside. So the wind begins a quest.
Mockingbird can't be silent because Cricket is playing a tune. Cricket can't stop playing until Moth stops dancing. Night wind must go on down the line to find the one thing that will start the chain reaction of changes to help the child fall asleep.
The one thing Wind can do is cause a change in the weather by bringing Cloud to cover Moon, who stops shining ... and all the animals fall silent, one by one.
"At last the night was dark, and quiet, and still. The child snuggled
under warm blankets, closed tired eyes, and fell asleep."
Good for Girls and Boys Alike
The child is always addressed as "the child" in the book and could easily be a boy or a girl according to the haircut and night clothes. The animals also are not called "he" or "she" although some have gender-distinctive dress.
About Author Katy Rydell
Katy Rydell is a storyteller, a writer, and a teacher with a master's degree in folklore. She teaches storytelling and also helps teachers learn to use storytelling in the classroom. In addition to her classic children's book Wind Says Good Night, she writes poetry, songs, and other stories. She performs at storytelling festivals around the country.
Composer David Dzubay of Pro Nova Music created a symphony using the text of Wind Says Good Night for the Minnesota Orchestral Association for performance as part of the Minnesota Orchestra's "Adventures in Music" series of family concerts. Each animal and character in the story has a distinctive sound played by a different instrument.
Wind Says Good Night is Cumulative
A cumulative book is one that repeats a growing list of elements in the story, similar to "The House that Jack Built." So it begins "This is the house that Jack built. / This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built. / This is the rat that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built." And so forth.
In this "Wind Says Good Night," Wind goes down the line asking each animal a question that builds on what he has learned before, adding to the explanation each time. So for instance, he asks Moth:
"Will you stop dancing / so Frog will stop strumming / so Cricket will stop playing / so Mockingbird will stop singing / so the child can go to sleep?" And each animal answers that stopping is impossible, unless someone else stops something first.
Also by Katy Rydell
|A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling|
Find More Great Children's Picture Book Reviews
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