Review Blog

Nov 12 2012

Bartholomew Biddle and the very big wind by Gary Ross

cover image

Candlewick Press, 2012. ISBN 9780763649203.
(Age 5-9) Highly recommended. Bartholomew Biddle and the very big wind is simply a joy - a joy to look at, and a joy to read not just to oneself, but aloud. Penned by Hunger Games director Gary Ross, and supported by divine oil paintings, which add texture and depth, from Matthew Myers, it's a must have for any library, home or school.
The idea for Bartholomew Biddle and the very big wind came to light when Ross was asked to pen a piece for David Koepp, who was shooting the 1996 film The Trigger Effect and needed a bedtime story to be read in a scene. It was the very beginnings of this wonderful story, which was put aside until now, when Ross (who was once a library commissioner!) gave it life again.
Bartholomew Biddle sails from his bedroom window one night, using his bedsheet as a sail - the language is lyrical and beautiful 'why this silly old wind was nothing to fear, with a bedsheet to sail and an instinct to steer', compelling the reader to fly out of the window with Bartholomew, and fly we do.
Over the roof tops, where a gleeful Bartholomew proclaims 'This is INSANE!', to a strange land with pirates, an even stranger land of glum children marching in conformity, and finally into a canyon, fair littered with historical figures, such as Amelia Earheart.
This book is pitched as being for ages 6 and up, but I found it just perfect for two young siblings in my life, who are a mature 9, and an immature 5 - something for everyone! Enough quirk and surprise to engage the elder, and enough rhyme and visual for the younger.
This book is a masterpiece, and comes highly recommended. It's been a privilege to review it.
Freya Lucas

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