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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Whisper on the Wind by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft

The lighthouse on the cover immediately draws you in, for who doesn’t love the romanticism of a tall tower by the sea, its light saving lives, while its workers live in stark isolation on the cusp of the coast? A lone figure stands atop the tower on a moonlight night; it turns out this is a child, Ren, who we next find asleep in bed, dreaming.

The prose builds in the manner of The House That Jack Built:

This is the whisper in Ren’s dream.

This is the wind

that carries the whisper

from Ren’s dream.

These are the waves

that dance in the breeze

that carries the whisper

from Ren’s dream

The watercolour illustrations are absolutely stunning and evocative, perfectly matching the tone for this book, which imagines a child’s wish being carried over the ocean by various forces and inhabitants of nature. The story ends on a heartwarming note, with Ren’s sailor mother receiving the wish, and returning home to be reunited with her child.

Reviewer: Stacey Anyan

Allen & Unwin


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