The North Wind and the Sun / Written and Illustrated by Brian Wildsmith
The story of the north wind and the sun is an ancient fable found in the collections attributed to both Aesop and La Fontaine. Much like any fable, it discusses issues that are relevant to all of us at every age.
The use of fables in Jewish tradition dates back to biblical times, and is as ancient in many cultures around the world, for they played a key role in conveying social and moral messages in a pleasant, thought-provoking manner.
"For not by strength shall man prevail" (1 Samuel, 2: 9)
What is the best way to impact others and achieve our goals? Sometimes we think the use of force will help us reach our goals; however, aggression often prompts others to take the opposite stand and object to any change or collaboration. This verse from the Book of Samuel teaches us about the limitations of power, highlighting the advantages of kindness, gentleness and warmth.
The north wind and the sun are depicted in the first illustrations of the book. Each one was given different colors. Which colors were used for the sun? Which for the north wind?
It is difficult to see the wind, but its impact can be felt. You may want to look through the special illustrations of the book together, and look for signs that the wind is blowing. While you are reading the story, is the wind blowing outside? Take a look through the window. Can you "see" the wind?
You may enjoy playing dress-up and acting the story out to your family and friends. What do you think the facial expressions of the north wind and the sun would be like? What voices would they have?
At times, in an effort to get what we want, we too might behave like the north wind; and other times we might behave like the sun. What do we look like in "north wind mode"? What do we look like in "sun mode?"
Can you draw a large, joyful sun together, and hang it up so it would remind us to be kind? You may want to write pleasant, heartwarming words next to each of the sun's rays on your drawing.
You may enjoy exploring the wind's impact on different objects together: on the table place a sheet of paper, a stone, a leaf, some cotton-wool, and a spoon. Try to blow on them and move them – which one blew away easily? Which one was impossible to move?
Is it always pleasant in the sunshine and unpleasant in the cold? Which type of weather does each of you prefer? What do we like to do out in the sun, and what do we enjoy when it’s cold out?
The North Wind and the Sun is a fable. Do you know others? You may like to read them together.
Enjoy reading and discussing the story together!