When we think about the wind, we think of a cool breeze in hot summer to cool us off. Or we recall the stiff winds of winter when we could hardly walk. Or we think of the breath of God and the Christian festival of Pentecost. Or we yearn for the chance to fly like the lead character in Avatar who rides the winds on a great beast. Many of these playful meanings are conveyed in this magical tale by Sibylle von Olfers (1881–1916).
George is by a lake and waiting for the wind to come and fill the sails of his toy boats on the water. Willow, a wind sprite, comes to his assistance with a puff of air that sends the boats on their way. She is an adventuresome companion who wants to run with the boy in the wind. They look with wonder at the dandelions that are whirled away and the apples tumbling to the ground. Together George and Willow frolic with the Leaf children as they whirl around and around. Then the biggest surprise of all: they ride two fluffy cloud horses before bidding farewell to each other at the end of the day.
This fanciful children's story for kids aged four to seven years old puts on display the wind and all the things it can do with it. The delightful illustrations by the author capture the pleasure that George and Willow have in one another's company. Many children feel closer to the elements of earth, water, fire, and air than adults think. As The Story of the Wind Children reveals, the wind can be our close friend if we are open to her spiritually nourishing ways.