Ride the Wind


Javier is distraught when a fishing line snares an albatross. He works hard aboard the Magdalena, his father’s fishing boat, and conditions are tough. However, he is determined to heal the bird’s injuries and return it to the wild. Yet how might he encourage it to fly? Furthermore, how can he ensure that his father will not get rid of the bird?

When Javier’s given two weeks, until the next fishing trip, Javier races into action to rescue the albatross. From organising an old dog bed to choosing the best small fish from the market, he’s determined that the albatross will grow stronger and more prepared to fly. Yet what will be the final push that convinces this bird to Ride the Wind?

Nicola Davies’ sympathetic and informative storytelling offers an authentic voice in Javier. Furthermore the exceptional pictures of Salvatore Rubbino suggest the setting and environment realistically. Bookwagon loves this beautiful picture book and recommends it highly.

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Ride the Wind

Nicola Davies and Salvatore Rubbino

(Walker Books)

Will the albatross that is accidentally hooked on Javier’s fishing line ever Ride the Wind? Javier is exhausted. Working on the rough seas aboard the Magdalena is punishing and takes its toll on the boy. However, his father, Tomas is ‘quick to call him weak and childish‘. How can Javier tend to the snared bird, when his father says they must be rid of it? There is something in its capture that reminds Javier of his late mother.
It seems that Javier has two weeks only, until the next fishing trip, to feed the bird and ‘heal its wounds’. As the bird recognises Javier and clacks its beak for fish, Javier has hopes that it will show signs of flying. Yet as the clock ticks down, she is only shuffling ‘her feathers like an old lady shifting her skirts‘. What will it take for the albatross to fulfil its need to fly? Furthermore, how can Javier quell his father’s impatience at the situation?
We love Nicola Davies’ storytelling, from The Day War Came to natural history titles like The Wonder of Trees. Her writing is always supported by the rich talents of superb illustrators. It is no different here, as Salvatore Rubbino of Harry Miller’s Run, amongst other Bookwagon beloved titles, impresses through the sympathetic scope and wealth of his painted pictures.
Altogether, Ride the Wind is an empathetic, authentic and satisfying picture book. We feel for Javier’s loss and efforts, while supporting his efforts and understanding. Bookwagon loves this book!


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