Children love stories in which terrible things happen to the characters as long as all is resolved at the end, which it is in this book. It’s just that I find a particular element of this story jars too much for me to ignore it. While Mama and Papa are hanging out the washing, baby is blown away by the wind. Well, actually, stolen by the wind, which is personified in the illustrations as a woman and it’s this that sits uncomfortably with me. I don’t mind the retro look of the cartoonish illustrations, but having the wind shown as a person doesn’t look or feel right. Everyone gives chase, shouting ‘Thief’ to the wind until Grandpa manages to capture both wind and baby with his lasso. He punishes the wind by keeping it tied up in a prickly pine tree until it is properly sorry; which it very soon is. It promises never again to steal the baby and is allowed to come and join everyone for a cup a tea.
The text is printed in wavy lines to emulate the blowing wind, one presumes, and set as though in verse which it loosely is – parts of it rhyme or contain internal rhyme here and there. But the narrative (in both words and pictures) is not strong enough to carry this story off, excuse the pun.