Gilberto and the Wind

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  1. Gilberto and the Wind
  2. Author: Marie Hall Ets
  3. Illustrator: Marie Hall Ets
  4. Publisher and Year: The Viking Press, 1963
  5. Number of Pages: 32
  6. Genre: Whimsical Fantasy
  7. Marie Hall Ets’s book, Gilberto and the Wind, is the heartwarming story of a young Latino boy interacting with the wind as it takes his kite and sailboat away, whistling ominously before it caves into its guilt and gives both back to him at the end. Then, the young lad sleeps peacefully under a willow tree as the wind slowly lulls him into slumber. The author does not get furious or overworked about this or any other issue, but she does do it in a way that’s subtle yet potent enough to get wedged in the minds of children, showing how a simple, cute story about the wind and a young boy is so important in breaking down barriers between children and nature (a message just as, if not more relevant, now as in 1963) and overcoming ignorance of natural resources’ worth. So far as the picturebook codes are concerned, the primary code in this book is that of colors. Throughout the book, the background is in beige and white. Ets chose a lovely strategy of using three shades of watercolors for this book, and it is even more poignant when contrasted with the colorful, boisterous shades of many children’s books that are seen today. Finally, when it comes to special features, there are really none-it is just a well-written, onomatopoeia-filled classic piece of children’s literature. The ideaology of the book is that the author wants everybody to be able to fit in with their fellow human beings while being able to appreciate the things in nature that need to be appreciated, rather than destroyed by us, while at the same time not being too preachy and just talking about the wind in a year when Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring came out, a much more heavyhanded view on the environment. She shows this ideology by providing a safe, fun way to talk about the wind and nature in general.
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