Baby book review: Good Night, Wind by Linda Elovitz Marshall and Maelle Doliveux

Baby librarian Marian and her mommy Margaret review the picture book Good Night, Wind: A Yiddish Folktale by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Maëlle Doliveux.

Cover of Good Night, Wind A Yiddish Folktale

Marian reviews Good Night, Wind

Marian reads Goodnight WindMommy says this book is too long for me, but I like that it’s long. Mommy read it to me when she came home from work, and I snuggled in her lap and didn’t turn the pages fast like I normally do because sometimes Mommy is way too slow at reading. Instead, I let Mommy take as long as she wanted to read it, even though it’s a long book. I miss Mommy when she’s at work, and it was nice to snuggle. I could tell she liked snuggling me too because she rubbed my tummy as we read.

It doesn’t rhyme or make silly animal sounds or have hidden mirrors like my favorite books, but it’s still a nice book. Mommy read all the characters in different voices, and that’s funny. Sometimes, she would blow on me when the wind blew, like when she blows on hot food before I eat it. I can blow too! Just like the wind! But I didn’t tonight because I just wanted to snuggle.

Margaret reviews Good Night, Wind

I haven’t written about it on this website yet, but I’m a fairytale and folklore fiend. I even wrote my master’s thesis on fairytales! Despite this, I’m mostly unfamiliar with Jewish folklore. When I saw Good Night, Wind in a catalog earlier this year, I knew I needed to own it. First, the cover is gorgeous, but second, it’s based on a Yiddish folktale.

It was the perfect night to read it too. Right now, it’s a balmy seventy degrees, unseasonably warm for March. Tomorrow, a cold front will move in and by the time this publishes Friday, it will be in the forties or fifties. Go away, Winter Wind! Which is the exact sentiment of this folktale. Winter Wind just wants to go to sleep, but everywhere Wind lays, he’s told to go away. Tree and Rock won’t let him sleep beside them, people don’t like him, and the more tired he becomes, the angrier he gets. Like any over-tired toddler, he throws a temper tantrum. He blows and storms and chases away the Spring breeze, until a little girl calms him down, just like she calms down her baby brother when he throws a temper tantrum.

Did I mention that gorgeous cover? Because the inside art definitely lives up to its promise. Maëlle Doliveux’s paper-cut illustrations are unexpectedly expressive and engaging. I need to check out more of her work. The story is a bit long for baby librarians Marian’s age (15 months), but it’s a good length for Pre-K and Early Elementary. Despite the length, she really did snuggle in my lap and listen to me read the entire book.

Do you have favorite books about Jewish folklore?

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