Continuing my series of superb picture books about the kind of world we want to live in and to remind ourselves that people are inherently good, here is my list of ten great picture books on compassion:
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam
How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham
Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
My Heart Will Not Sit Down by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Ann Tanksley
The Passover Lamb by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang, illustrated by Greg Ruth
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Smoky Night by Eve Bunting, illustrated by David Diaz
Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth
What Color Is the Wind? by Anne Herbauts (InfoSoup)
A child who is blind walks through the world asking what color the wind is. He gets very different answers from those he asks. The wolf says the wind is “the dark smell of the forest.” For the bees, the wind is “the color of sunshine.” The apple tree sees the wind as “a sugary color” while its roots view it as “the color of sap and pomegranates.” By the end of the book, the child reaches a giant who says that the wind is the color of all of these things. Then readers are encouraged to flip the pages of the book, creating a rainbow of colors along the way and a breeze of wind too.
Herbauts’ book is exceptional. She has created a book filled with the senses. She incorporates touch into her illustrations, taste and smell are in many of the colors of the wind, and throughout there is a feel for the lack of vision and the increased vitality of the other senses. The imagery she matches with each character’s point of view is spot on. It’s done in a lush and lovely way that makes the experience of reading it intense and fascinating.
The illustrations have raised ridges in places that can be felt by the fingertips. They also have gloss on them to bring some of the tactile features out visually as well. Others are almost hidden until you run your fingers along them. The pages are filled with colors and playfulness with the child’s black boots walking along from page to page and other pages covered in raindrops or laundry.
Immensely beautiful, lush and wondrous, this picture book is a feast for all of the senses. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Enchanted Lion Books.