What Color Is the Wind?
The question of the title is asked by “the little giant,” a blind boy; Herbauts (Monday
) represents his blindness by painting him with his eyes shut throughout. He strides boldly through the pages in a blue sweater and black boots, putting his question to everything he meets—a mountain, a stream, an apple tree. “What color is the wind?” he asks a dog. On the page, a dog-shaped outline is seen in the grass by the boy’s boots. The dog can’t be seen, but it can be felt with a finger; its fur is embossed on the page. “It is pink, flowery, pale white,” the dog answers. Each being’s answer reflects its own nature or experience (“Red!” answers an apple), and there’s a windy surprise at the end. The artwork—inventive, delicate, and innocent—combines paintings overlaid with embossed and varnished areas and even, on the cover, Braille. Herbauts’s visual and verbal poetry draws attention to all the different ways creatures know what they know. It’s not just a read-aloud—it’s a touch-aloud, too, to be shared by blind and sighted children alike. Ages 5–up. (Oct.)