Monday, May 30, 2011

Can You Dance Like a Windy Day?

Read It. Move It. Share It.
This is the fifth post in my super fun collaboration with independent dance educator Maria Hanley from Maria's Movers. Each month I recommend a picture book for Maria to incorporate into her creative movement classes, and then we both share our experiences with the book. You can read Maria's May post here.

It's that time of year. Storms are brewing, rains keep falling, and the wind is often howling. Even on a calm day, it's not uncommon for the trees to shake a bit as a cool spring breeze rushes past.

Wind inspires movement--movement not only of the trees but also of the grass, waves, windmils, flags, kites. The list goes on and on. So why not let the wind inspire movement of the body as well?

In the picture book Like a Windy Day, by Frank Asch and Devin Asch, the text and illustrations encourage readers to actually be the wind. Imagine the possibilities for a creative movement class!

I want to lift birds and butterflies in the sky. 
I want to steal hats, drive clouds and rain, sail boats, and make umbrellas fly!

Every spread of the book includes both a young girl, dressed in a long-sleeved blue dress with a pink and orange scarf around her neck, and a representation of the wind that resembles the young girl in many ways. If you look at the cover of the book, you can see that the wind is like a large shadow of the girl, with the same general shape as the girl and the same wispy hair flowing behind it. 

The text in the book is minimal but provides plenty of ideas for little creative movers to capitalize on. And, as you might imagine, the illustrations have so much movement to them. A single leaf also shows up on every spread, fluttering just out of reach of the little girl and the wind, to help carry the story--and the wind itself--from page to page.

I want to shake the dew from a spider's web and help her babies soar.
I want to blow through green grasses and crash big blue waves on the shore...
I want to play like a windy day.

The words "I want to play like a windy day" repeat several times throughout the book, but if you are using the book in a dance class, it might be fun to change the words just a tiny bit. "I want to DANCE like a windy day" has a nice ring to it, don't you think? 

Don't forget to find out here how Maria used Like a Windy Day in her creative movement classes and how her students interpreted the wind!


  1. awesome! Where can I find the previous posts for other books?

  2. Congratulations! I have awarded you The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. Visit this post at my blog, Secrets & Sharing Soda to pick up the badge and pay it forward. :-)

  3. Hi, Angelica. So glad you like this post! In the narrow column to the right, i have a section called Featured Books, and it lists all the books that have been reviewed on my blog so far. (Not all of my posts are book reviews, so you might be able to locate a few other posts using the section called Selected Labels.)

    If you're looking specifically for books Maria's Movers and I have featured together, you can read the posts for How to Be, Dancing Feet, My Many Colored Days, and Not a Box.

    Thanks again for your comment and for stopping by!

  4. Love it! It has been so windy here lately (being autumn in Australia). I think this is something we could get into!

  5. Thanks, Liz! Glad the book translates over to Australia at this time of year! By the way, I read your review of Maudie and Bear. The illustrations do look very unique...and I love how the book grew on you over time...and of course love how Bear uses dance to make up with Maude in one of the stories!


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