Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Paper Chase: Windblown by Edouard Manceau


Seven pieces of paper, cut shapes in different colors--a small circle, two even smaller circles, a large semi-circle, a quarter circle, and one curvy shape which has no name--appear against a white page. How did they get there? Whose can they be?

A black-line chicken assembles the pieces into a head for itself--with eyes, a beak, and a red coxscomb--and claims the pieces were just lying around, his for the taking!

A fish claims he cut the seven pieces, shaping himself with the quarter circle as a tai lfin, the half-circle for his head, and two round eyes.

"Nope," says the bird, who claims to have made the paper.

"Oh, NO, " disputes the snail, who cites the wood chips that went into the paper making as his work.

The frog croaks that he is the creator of the tree which started the process.

Who owns the pieces of paper that are so essential for the assembly of all these creatures?

"SHHH! SAID THE WIND, as he claims to be source of all of these creatures.

The wind did it, says Edouard Manceau in his forthcoming Windblown (Owlkids Books, 2013), a picture essay in which he shows how seven shapes can be assembled into various colorful compositions by the wind's wild whimsy.  And this wind is generous!


"Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you," says Christina Rosetti's classic poem (watch an animated reading here).  In Manceau's clever page design, we too hear the wind's words while he himself remains unseen, but thanks to the link provided by the publisher here, Manceau's versatile shapes can be downloaded for any child or primary school class to use in shaping their own colorful windblown collages. In addition to the instant art lesson offered here, this book makes a useful jumping off point for a paper making activity, a weather activity on wind, or even a litter collection activity in the classroom! (Pick up five things from somewhere and see what you can make out of them.)

"A surefire inspiration for imagination-fueled projects," proclaims Publishers Weekly in their starred review.

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