'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 19 April 2022

Review: Whisper on the Wind

Oh, how I adore a word building picture book. I don’t see them too often, but I love them. And I loved this one so very, very much. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain…

I’m sure there’s a technical term for it, but the easiest way to describe what I’m talking about is to say this picture book uses repetition of sentences from the pages before to build the story in layers. So we start with the wind…

This is the wind that carries the whisper from Ren’s dream.

And then it builds….

These are the waves that dance in the breeze that carries the whisper from Ren’s dream.

And it flows from there. It’s magical, lyrical and addictive, pulling audiences into its song and whisking you away to storyland.

Ren’s whisper has quite the adventure in this stunning book. It glows in moonbeams, plays with fish, dances with dolphins and makes it all the way to a very important boat — which has a very important sailor onboard. The sailor finds the whisper, understands it and knows exactly where she needs to go.

This gorgeous story from award winning author Claire Saxby enters your heart and head and will not leave. It’s a story that is simple and yet so awesomely layered in meaning.

Add in the stunning illustrations by Jess Racklyeft, and I just don’t know how you can walk past this book. Gorgeous blues and aquas swim on the pages. Bright white sea spray sprinkles the edges. The pictures are soft and moody, and each is worthy of their own frame. Simply perfection.

But beyond the magic and whimsy, and the gorgeous use of language, and the amazing illustrations that I want to gobble up, is fun and engagement. Kids will ADORE this story because it provides such a fabulous way to interact with text. With repeated lines and building momentum, they will love exploring this book.

Highly, highly, highly recommended, Whisper on the Wind is destined to appear on multiple lists of great Australian picture books.

Title: Whisper on the Wind
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Jess Racklyeft
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: March 2022
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760526887
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Book