Cover image for Wind child
Wind child
Murphy, Shirley Rousseau.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperCollins, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm
Unaware of her unusual parentage, Resshie grows up restless and longing to know the secrets of the wind and she uses her extraordinary ability as a weaver to help her achieve her dream.
General Note:
Illustrators, Leo and Diane Dillon.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 48290.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.M957 WI 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Born to a human mother and the East Wind, Resshie grows up wild and dreaming. She wants to know the wind's secrets and yearns to fly as the wind does. But she is only a human girl and cannot. She tries to capture the movement of the winds in her weavings, which bring her fame among the villagers, but still, Resshie is lonely. The lives of the village girls not for her. Resshie is meant for something special, but how will she ever capture her elusive dreams?

Author Notes

Fiction author Shirley Rousseau Murphy grew up in Long Beach, California and majored in fine and commercial art at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has worked as a commercial artist and has exhibited paintings and sculptures extensively on the West Coast. She has also been a designer and an interior designer, as well as in a library in the Panama Canal Zone. Murphy has written several children's books, plus the fantasy novel The Catswold Portal, the Dragonbards trilogy, and the popular Joe Grey mystery series, for which she has won eight Muse Medallion awards from the Cat Writers' Association. She and her husband live in Carmel, California.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-9. Unaware that she is the daughter of the east wind, Reeshie grows up with an affinity for the wind, and becomes an extraordinary weaver. Lonely, she creates two men from her weaving, but both fade and decay. She traps another man but sets him free. Finally, a young prince arrives, seeking some of her fabric, which "is said to show the heart of the winds." Reeshie realizes that he is not mortal and makes an offer: if she "weaves a tapestry that shows the prince's true likeness" within 20 days, she will become his wife. When the prince returns and beholds her ethereal fabric, he weaves his own gossamer around Reeshie and takes her home. With elements of myth and folklore, this is a satisfying romantic story enhanced by Leo and Diane Dillon's elegant, other worldly illustrations in which facial features lurk in rocks, clouds, and hillsides; and reproductions of sculptured heads by their son Lee add a mythic motif. Earthy brown and green tones dominate the images of mortals, and light blue, green, and gray hues portray celestial figures. This will delight fairy tale fans, inject fine art into climate studies, and invite students to write and/or illustrate their own myths. --Linda Perkins

Publisher's Weekly Review

Elements of fantasy and folklore intertwine in both the telling of and the artwork for this haunting, mystical tale. Unaware that her father was an east wind, Resshie, now a young woman, yearns to be a part of the sky. To support herself, she takes to weaving, creating cloth that seems to be made of the wind itself. She gains renown for her craft and even attempts to weave a mate for herself twice, but each one fades. Soon after, a young prince comes to call, asking to see her handiwork. Resshie recognizes that he is "not a mortal man" but a wind in human form, and she strikes a bargain that will allow her to gain her heart's desire. Murphy's (Tattie's River) carefully honed prose, striking in its spare, direct simplicity, establishes a mythic tone. Subtle hints pave the way for an ending of allegorical proportions. Leo and Diane Dillon (To Everything There Is a Season) also plant understated clues in the artwork. The winds' omnipresence materializes in violet stripes at Resshie's back, breathing life into her loom, and conjures images of the Lady of Shalott. At the center of each spread, photographs of Lee Dillon's sculpted faces with windswept hair hover, unrestrained, against an expanse of white. The sculpture creates an uncanny illusion of movementÄexcept on the dramatic spreads that convey Resshie's failed attempts to weave a mate: mirror images show a perfect clay relief on the left and its shattered image on the right. The stark beauty of both text and artwork are sure to draw sophisticated readers into this stunning meditation on the price of immortality. Ages 5-9. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-5-A girl born of the east wind and a mortal woman is the heroine of this original fairy tale. Unaware of her parentage, Resshie grows up yearning to "know the winds' secrets," and becomes a weaver. Out in the world, she weaves a house for herself out of willows and grasses, but finds no one to share her life. Then she weaves a man of stalks and vines, but when they dry out, he collapses. Her "more durable husband," made of wool and skins, lasts longer, but he too fails. She captures a human man, but lets him go when he grieves for his freedom. Finally, a young prince arrives at her door, and she proposes to him, promising to weave a tapestry that shows his true likeness. The results prove that they were meant for one another and precipitate the happy ending. The Dillons' art perfectly suits this book. Small, woodblock-like vignettes on the left, unpainted clay sculptural masks in the middle, and paintings in a romantic vein on the right tell the story. Hair, clothing, clouds, and leaves are in constant motion until the prince appears, when stillness momentarily falls on the art. As the intricate artwork imposes order on the curves of nature, so the weaving together of work and love, freedom and fulfillment, self and soul mate gives the tale depth and resonance.-Patricia Lothrop-Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.