By Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert
Illustrated by: Dusan Petricic
Published on: Mach 10, 2020
A very visual and emotional story about a boy who takes a toy that doesn’t belong to him.
When Jesse finds a toy horse and makes it his very own, his imagination runs wild. This horse is the fastest horse in the whole world, so Jesse names him Wind. He can’t wait to race him across the prairie (the kitchen table) and over deep canyons (the bathtub). There’s just one problem: Wind doesn’t actually belong to Jesse. He was left behind accidentally by his real owners. And though at first Jesse is full of joy as he plays with Wind, soon he starts to feel uneasy—Jesse knows Wind’s real owners must miss him.
But how can Jesse explain to his mother exactly where Wind came from? And is there a way to make everything okay again? The Truth About Wind is a dynamic story about the courage it takes to face up to a lie, brought to life by a trio of celebrated creators.
I love how The Truth About Wind tackles theft and lying. Jesse finds a toy he knows doesn’t belong to him. Instead of trying to find its owner or telling his parents, he lies about how he got it when asked. Clearly he is now free to call it his own…isn’t he? He plays and plays with his new horse named Wind. Jesse’s imagination goes wild with adventure after adventure. But then reality comes back to him when he has to lie again about where he got Wind from. By now Jesse has come to love playing with Wind, but what Jesse doesn’t know is how guilt slowly eats away at you. Slowly robbing you of the fun you had when you first take something, reminding you that what you took isn’t yours.
The progression of Jesse’s unease and guilt is excellently well done in this picture book. Guilt and regret don’t always happen immediately. Instead, time gives your mind a chance to catch up and ponder over what you have done and all its impacts, leaving Jesse with no choice other than to correct his mistake. Although, Jesse did something wrong and tried to make it right, I am mixed on the conclusion. One side of me loves how the conclusion has a sense of poetry and symmetry as the story comes full circle. The other side of me wants him to have a conversation with an adult, but perhaps that conversation does happen outside of the story.
The illustrations are particularly are also very well done and I am impressed by how much thought has been put into their creation. They do not fill the entire page with vibrant colors of scenery. Instead, the soft pastel illustrations force you to focus just on the issue at hand – Jesse’s increasing guilty feelings. After all, if you have too much to look at then there’s a chance you will lose the important point trying to be made within the story and pictures, not to mention that guilt is a lonely creature.
Rating: 5 star
Thanks to Netgalley and Annick Press Ltd. for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.