November 02, 2021

Windy Days

Written by Deborah Kerbel
Illustrated by Miki Sato
Pajama Press
24 pp.
Ages 2-5
October 2021
When a picture book, a two-dimensional source, can evoke weather such that the reader feels the bite of the wind or the slash of the briskness of leaves against skin, it's doing something terrific. I may be able to feel the wind by just stepping outside right now but I'd much rather experience it through the text and paper collage of Deborah Kerbel and Miki Sato's latest collaboration.
From Windy Days by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Miki Sato
In Pajama Press's Toddler Tough format of padded cover, rounded corners and thick pages, Windy Days explores children's experiences with the wind in the autumn, from fun fall fairs to Halloween outings. There are their encounters in the natural world with gentle breezes scattering milkweed seeds and tossing leaves, to creating energy with wind turbines and flying kites. Some of those winds are soft air movements while others are blasts of cold that practically toss little ones off their feet. Whatever their form, they're there, especially at this time of year, and reminding us of weather as our constant, bringing sound and movement and consequences.
Gusting wind: whoosh and whirl
Flags a-flutter, pinwheels twirl
From Windy Days by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Miki Sato
Weather is always with us–regardless of those unique days when the weather people  announce that we'll be having some weather today!–and it impacts our choices in clothing, activity, emotions and experiences. It makes us cautious and impetuous, eager and subdued. Weather makes us who we are when we're outside. The winds of fall are no different, impacting our play and our learning. They affect our emotions: fear from branches tapping on a window during a storm; annoyance for biting our cheeks and noses; and delighting us with the dances of airborne leaves and seeds. And then delivering the first snowflakes of the next season.
From Windy Days by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Miki Sato
I can't think of a better day to review Deborah Kerbel and Miki Sato's latest picture book collaboration than today, an incredible blustery day shortly after Halloween. Though little ones will be familiar with every scene depicted in the book, they will be especially aware of that Halloween scene as they sit inside their homes sorting their treats and listening to the winds outside. It's that familiarity of experiences that will endear Windy Days to our youngest readers. They know what it feels like to be inside listening to the wind against a window or outside bracing themselves as they trudge to daycare or school. They know what too little wind feels like but also too much. These are their experiences with wind. And Deborah Kerbel gives them the evocative words to go with those experiences. Roaring, whistling, howling give us the sounds but sweeping, biting, and tapping give us the movement. The wind is a living thing in Deborah Kerbel's words and an acquaintance that joins us for many of our fall days.
From Windy Days by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Miki Sato
Because of the texture of her cut-paper collages and her judicious use of lines to portray movement, Miki Sato takes readers outside to enjoy and endure the winds of fall. By adding a third dimension in her illustrations and using bold vibrant colours, Miki Sato gives these familiar childhood scenes character, inviting us to reminisce about our own experiences with the wind. By making the wind as real as the costumed child losing her witch's hat or the girl with the umbrella almost sailing off her feet, Miki Sato makes the wind the star of Windy Days.

It's never too early to introduce children to STEM concepts like the weather–there is an activity page appended to the story–and now in the fall when warm breezes are transforming into brisk winds and biting blasts of air will soon to be the norm, Windy Days will help young children see themselves in the weather of their own lives and reflect on the nuances of the wind in its impact on them.


Take in the weather with all the books in this series, including upcoming Rainy Days in the spring of 2022.

Snow Days (2020)
Sunny Days (2021)
Windy Days (2021)
Rainy Days (coming in 2022)

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