[review] Viento, Vientito/Wind, Little Wind by Jorge Argueta and Felipe Ugalde Alcántara

Can you feel it gently brush across your cheek? See how it tickles flower petals. Listen for the quiet rustling of leaves. Wind.

Mi nombre es Viento
pero todos me conocen
por Vientito.

My name is Wind
but everyone knows me
as Little Wind.

In Viento, Vientito/Wind, Little Wind (Piñata Books, 2022), award winning poet Jorge Argueta celebrates the power and movement of air from the perspective of a playful child, who after introducing himself, proudly declares:

Nazco por todos lados
y voy a todos lados
de nuestra Madre Tierra.

I am born everywhere
and I go all
around our Mother Earth.

Little Wind explains he can be a swift and happy ‘hummingbird’ wind; ‘zummming’ here and there, but just as quickly, not be anywhere. Still, he’s everywhere – he comes, he stays, he goes.

Little Wind is mysterious too. You can’t see or touch him, but you can feel him. And he has many other names: “north wind,” “draft,” “breeze,” “gale,” and the more worrying “hurricane” or “tornado.”

There are so many things Little Wind can do – become a “Quetzalcóatl Wind,” a river Wind, traveling in serpentine trails, twisting and tangling, rising and falling, zummming as he draws near then speeds off. Can you hear him singing “through valleys and mountains, towns and cities”?

What a wonder Little Wind is – invisible and untouchable, yet powerful and pervasive. Sometimes refreshing, sometimes dangerous. And how he loves to tease! Can anyone catch him?

Aquí estoy.
No, ya no estoy.
Me voy bailando.
Me voy cantando.
Zummm, zummm, zummm
Yo Viento, Vientito
soy la vida que pasa silbando.
Zummm, zummm, zummm
Yo Viento, Vientito
soy la vida que pasa cantando.
Zummm, zummm, zummm

I am here.
Now I’m not.
Away I go, dancing.
Away I go, singing.
Zummm, zummm, zummm
I am Wind, Little Wind.
I am life that goes by whistling.
Zummm, zummm, zummm
I am Wind, Little Wind.
I am life that goes by singing.
Zummm, zummm, zummm

Love this lyrical beauty of a book. Argueta artfully personifies the wind through the musicality of his spare verse. Young readers will revel in Little Wind’s winsome personality and perceived antics.

Alcántara’s vibrant mixed media illustrations beautifully capture the movement of air in its many iterations, from the delicacy of floating dandelion puffs, to tall grasses swaying in the breeze, to trees bending under strong gusts, to feathery clouds drifting into valleys or veiling mountain tops. We also see marvelous birds gliding aloft, and wind’s effect on water, creating waves and currents. 

He sometimes uses streams of parallel lines to depict wind direction and reach, and there is a gorgeous figurative representation of  feathered serpent Quetzalcóatl, the Aztec god of wind and air. The final spread captures the whistling, singing, joyous wind as it swirls up a pile of leaves, leaving the reader with a sense of wind’s transitory nature.

In addition to Spanish and English, the entire poem appears at the end in Nahuat, the ancient language of Argueta’s Pipil-Nahua ancestors. Viento, Vientito is the third in a series of books about Mother Nature, following Agua, Agüita/Water, Little Water, and Fuego, Fuegito/Fire, Little Fire. I’m guessing Earth/Little Earth will be next to complete the four elements. 🙂

Don’t miss this enchanting book that showcases Argueta’s love and respect for Mother Earth, finely tuned to a child’s sensibility. I can see kids wanting to go outside to watch the wind as it makes the flowers dance or the trees laugh, and then writing their own poems.

*

VIENTO, VIENTITO/WIND, LITTLE WIND
written by Jorge Tetl Argueta
English translation by Elizabeth Bell
Nahuat translation by Blas López
illustrated by Felipe Ugalde Alcántara
published by Piñata Books, May 31, 2022
Trilingual Poetry Picture Book for ages 5-10, 32 pp.
*Junior Library Guild Selection

*

The lovely, talented and starry-eyed Linda Mitchell is hosting the Roundup at A Word Edgewise. Drift over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week. Have a fun, restful and delicious holiday weekend as we remember the brave men and women in uniform who served and sacrificed for our freedoms.

*


*Interior spreads text copyright © 2022 Jorge Argueta, illustrations © 2022 Felipe Ugalde Alcántara, published by Piñata Books. All rights reserved.

**Copyright © 2022 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

21 thoughts on “[review] Viento, Vientito/Wind, Little Wind by Jorge Argueta and Felipe Ugalde Alcántara

  1. Oh, I need this book for my students! And, as a JLG selection, I am likely to get it as one of our standing orders with them. But, if not, I will make sure to order a copy. What a beauty…and so needed right now. Thank you, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love it! In a world where nothing is a mystery any longer, the wind plays hide and seek with us! Wind is the ghost of nature. Thank you Jama, and enjoy your weekend. Gif bless all those who have served our country!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This might be my favorite in the series so far. Felipe did a superb job with the art. I also love that in addition to English and Spanish, the text is presented in Nahuat.

      Like

  3. I sure hope this little wind will also be the wind of change…
    Beautiful book — thanks for sharing — I’m off to find the others in series now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once again I’m ‘blown’ away with your ability to allow books to shine under your spotlight, Jama. I’m a fan. 😉

    Like

  5. Gorgeous book Jama, wind whisks you up and wraps you inside it’s grand adventures… I love your lyrical description of it too. The art is magical, and together they both move all our senses. Thanks so much for sharing it with us, I’m looking forward to spending time with “Wind Little Wind!” I wrote a poem/picture book a long time ago on winds adventure one night… 💗🌬🌊

    Like

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