Disney, Hyperion, 2015, Fiction
Suitable for ages 4-9
Themes/Topics: Neighbours, Wind, Perseverence
Opening: "Billy Hightower lived atop the world's tallest building. Even the clouds didn't reach so high. When it rained, Billy stayed dry. No puddles. No rainbows."
Summary (from publisher): Once upon a time, high atop the world, there lived a boy named Billy Hightower and the wind. When a new neighbor appears -- a girl in a red hat -- Billy Hightower can hardly wait to meet her and introduce himself. But the wind has other ideas."
Why I Like This Book: I was initially drawn to this book by the colours. I just love the predominantly blue and white illustrations, with splashes of black and red. Plus, the wind is featured on every single page with enticing swirls of subtle, glossy lines. There are also some really cool perspectives; the most striking of which is the illustration of the boy looking up at the buildings.
The story itself has a fairy tale quality to it. It reminded me a little bit of Rapunzel except that the "prince" doesn't save the "princess"; rather he saves himself from loneliness.
For me, the most intriguing part of the story is the ending: "The Beginning . . . "
When I read that, all my kids said, "Huh?" so it was fun talking about what that meant.
Red Hat Art Project
Before I even finished reading the book we all said, "Let's do an art project just like this!" Here's what we did:
- Painted the paper with green and blue tempera
- Used chalk to add wind lines
- Sponge painted white tempera paint clouds
- Drew pencil buildings and outlined with sharpies
- Cut out and glued buildings to the painting
- Sponge painted on the bottom of the building
- Drew hats on red construction paper. Cut out and glued to paintings.
I think they're SO beautiful!
We haven't done this yet, but this is the perfect book to write a sequel. It would be fun to have the wind play another starring role!
Have you read this book to your class? I'd love to know what you think.
P.S. I'm linking up with Susanna Hill for Perfect Picture Book Friday!