Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 11, 2019

Book Giveaway: GOODNIGHT WIND by Linda Elovitz Marshall

Linda Marshall has a new picture book titled, GOODNIGHT WIND and illustrated by Maëlle Doliveux. Linda has agreed to share a book with one lucky winner.

All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Linda!

BOOK’S DESCRIPTION:

When the exhausted winter wind throws a snowy tantrum, it finds comfort in the friendship of two young children in this lyrical retelling of a Yiddish folktale illustrated with stunning collage.

In this retelling of a Yiddish folktale, “Winter Wind worked hard all season long / blowing away leaves, / preparing trees for coats of snow and ice.” Now, Wind is tired and needs a place to rest. But no one wants to shelter so cold and blustery a Wind–not the townspeople, not the country innkeeper, not even the gnarled tree who is worried about frozen roots. Finally, Wind does what any of us do when we are overtired: Wind has a tantrum. And it is only with the help of two small children brave enough to weather the storm that Wind finally finds the perfect place to sleep. Gentle language coupled with intricate photo-illustrations of collage dioramas tell this sweet tale about empathy and friendship. The visuals in this book are striking for their vibrancy, palette, and movement.

BOOK’S JOURNEY:

I was taking a course in Yiddish Children’s Literature given by Professor Miriam Udel at the YIVO organization in NYC when I first encountered this beautiful story. It was written in Yiddish by Moyshe Kulbak and first published in 1921 in what is now Vilnius, Lithuania. After translating it into English, Professor Udel shared it with her students in New York City. I was struck by the sensitive way that the natural world was depicted. I asked Professor Udel for permission to rewrite the story as a picture book for contemporary American children.

In retelling the story, there was a lot I told differently. First, I decided to have children be the “heroes” in the story. In the Yiddish version, a mother scolds the Wind for scaring her children until, at last, Wind decides to settle down. I chose to modernize the story so the frightened children realize that Wind is tired … and needs a nap. So…I added active, thoughtful, kind children to the story.

Next, I considered gender. In the Yiddish version, Wind is portrayed as male. Yet, in American folklore, wind is both male and female (“…way out west, they’ve got a name/for rain and wind and fire…and they call the wind Mariah….”). What to do? A strong, fatherly wind? A sirocco wind? A gentle, soothing, feminine wind? In the end, I decided to keep Wind gender-neutral. That meant writing the book without using pronouns. A complicated task, but a fun challenge!

Third, just as my manuscript was about to make the rounds of publishing, I discovered that someone else (Sheldon Oberman) had already told a similar story in The Wind that Wanted to Rest. At least that meant there was a market for the story! But was there a market for two such stories? And where did the other story originate? Searching for clues, I contacted folklore expert Peninnah Schramm who wrote the afterword in Oberman’s story. She didn’t know where he got the story. And Sheldon Oberman couldn’t tell me. He had passed away … and his wife had brought the story into book form as part of his legacy – it was a story he’d often told and his wife wanted it preserved for future generations. Meanwhile, Professor Udel hadn’t encountered the story in anything but the original Yiddish. Concluding that both stories may have had a common origin and that common origin was blowing in the proverbial wind, I proceeded to adapt my version in the way that storytellers have done through the ages…I made even more differences!

I made the children kinder. I had them lead Wind to an ice cave (based on an actual ice cave in Stockbridge, MA). I had Wind work harder to make Winter fun for children. And I had the seasons continue to go ‘round and ‘round so that, at the end of the book, the story begins again.

In the end, this short book is about so many things: nature and our need to care for it, human emotions like anger and frustration; it’s about the need to take a nap once in a while; and, in many ways, it’s about homelessness…and the anxiety of not knowing where there’s a safe place to rest.

I’m so happy with this book and with the absolutely beautiful illustrations by paper cut artist Maëlle Doliveux.

I think we have a lot to learn from these children … and from this story.

I’m so thankful to Professor Udel for translating Moyshe Kulbak’s words from Yiddish to English, to YIVO for offering this course on Yiddish Children’s Literature, to the whole team at Holiday House, to Maëlle Doliveux for her beautiful illustrations, and to my hardworking, wonderful agent, Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis for helping to guide me on this journey. And, of course, thank you, Kathy Temean, for sharing this with all of your followers. Much appreciated!

LINDA’S BIO:

I have always loved words. My parents said I spoke in full sentences before I was a year old. They also said I didn’t walk until I was two.

I was still a baby when I saw a TV commercial about a vacuum cleaner and its expandable bag. That night, my parents begged me to eat “just one more bite.” I refused. Using a phrase I’d learned from the vacuum cleaner commercial, I explained, “My stomach is fully expanded.” My parents laughed…and I was saved from having to eat that dreadful “one more bite.”

My love of words extended to foreign languages. I was one of those kids who loved school. I loved Hebrew school, too. Learning Hebrew taught me that words can be composed of roots and that those roots can change, often in predictable ways. I noticed some of the rules I’d learned in Hebrew applied to English, too. I also love word games, puzzles, and etymology, learning about the origins of words.

Some of my other favorite things include being outside, exploring, and being around animals. When I was a child, I wanted a horse. I didn’t get one. But when I grew up, my husband and I moved to a farm. That’s where we raised our four children…and sheep, chickens, and rabbits. It’s also where some of my stories are based.

I also love teaching and have taught all ages, from babies through college. I’ve taught parents, too.

When I write stories, I combine so many of the things I love. I’m always learning and exploring…and having a fabulous time! For more information, please visit my website: www.lindamarshall.com

Maëlle Doliveux’s BIO:

Maëlle is a French and Swiss illustrator who has lived all over the world, from New Jersey to New Zealand. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Nottingham in 2008, and graduated from the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program at the School of Visual Arts in 2013. In her spare time she enjoys chess-boxing, loose-rope walking, and making up fake hobbies for herself in her biographies.

She is also the co-founder, along with editor Josh O’Neill, of Beehive Books – a boutique publishing company focused on comics and illustration. She is the company’s creative director and in-house designer.

Thank you, Linda for sharing your book and journey with us. Maëlle’s paper cut-out illustrations really make this Yiddish folktale sing.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Fascinating story! I was intrigued by every twist and turn. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  2. Lovely! I love folk tales and the illustrations here are out of this world.

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  3. It’s always fun to hear how stories come to be. Thanks for an interesting post. I will be looking for this charming book.

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  4. Amazing! Maëlle’s artwork drew me in. Then, I learned that Linda’s book journey is equally marvelous. I love all the layers of meaning tucked within GOODNIGHT WIND! I I shared on Twitter -https://twitter.com/ManjuBeth/status/1138475276923559943

    Like

  5. Great energy in the illustrations.

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  6. This sounds excellent! I love the evolution of the story line and the unique style of the illustrations. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    My Twitter feed is down but I did pin an image with a link on my Pinterest Books board: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772150975010.
    Thanks again, have a great week everyone!

    Like

  7. Congratulations, Linda, it looks beautiful!

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  8. I love the many layers in this new picture book & the illustrations are stunning! Can’t wait to read it.

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  9. This sounds wonderful – I enjoyed learning about the adaptations you made on the book’s journey. And those illustrations – stunning!

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  10. Nothing like a good Yiddish folktale!

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  11. This sounds like a great book. I can’t wait to read it with my kids!

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  12. Love the movement in the illustrations and the tale itself! Congratulations!

    Like


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