Wednesday 22 March 2017

The March Wind by Inez Rice and Vladimir Bobri (Bodleian Publishing)

Another fabulous treat from Bodleian's amazing back catalogue, gorgeously republished for a whole new audience...
"The March Wind" by Inez Rice and Vladimir Bobri is such a stunning book and feels completely timeless.

First published back in 1957, it's the tale of a young boy who finds a mysterious black hat being blown along by the breeze.

As the boy's imagination is unleashed, he tries on the hat - and becomes a whole catalogue of characters as the weather bustles and blows.

First he is a soldier marching through the puddles. Then he's a cowboy galloping on his steed, a bandit fleeing in the night, and a ringleader at a circus.

Alas the wonderful adventures can't last forever. The "owner" shows up to claim his hat, and once again the little boy finds the March Wind before him, a slightly sinister character but with a wicked sense of humour. 

This is a story full of amazing energy and immersion, brilliantly told by Inez Rice with Vladimir Bobri's timeless illustrations bringing to life a magical childhood of make-believe and the power of the weather. I love that this has been published without being 'messed around with' (for example, leaving the word "Gay" in the book in reference to the boy's imagined daydream about a musical performer is EXACTLY how you do this whole business of reprinting classics without slicing great chunks out of them). 

Absolutely perfect for this time of year! A breezy read full of character and fun.

Charlotte's favourite bit: The boy's daydream about being a cowboy, making a daring escape from the Navajo!

Daddy's favourite bit: Effortlessly brilliant, again a book brought back from the depths of history that shows just how amazing children's books have been for decades - and setting out a story that will grip and engage young readers and old alike. 

"The March Wind" by Inez Rice and Vladimir Bobri is out now, published by Bodleian Publishing (kindly sent for review).