Whirl – Owlkids

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By Deborah Kerbel and Josée Bisaillon

From 4 to 8 | 32 pages

One whirligig’s journey reveals the delights of the natural world

A stray maple seed, sometimes called a maple key or whirligig, is picked up by the wind and begins a long, wordless journey through a local neighborhood. It twirls and flips through a family’s backyard. It slips beneath skateboard wheels and sneakers in the park. It falls into the hands of a few curious kids, who include it in their games and artwork. Eventually, it finds a place to rest. With the help of a nosy bird and a tender puppy paw, it is dropped into a forest and firmly planted in the ground. Years later, a family that encountered the whirligig on its journey takes a walk in the forest and meets the seed again—this time as a fully grown maple tree!

This gentle meditation on the cycle of life wordlessly draws connections between humans and nature. The dynamic and detailed artwork supports visual literacy and will spark discussion about plant life cycles. And the whirligig’s journey on the wind may encourage readers to venture into green spaces and observe them with care and curiosity.

Deborah Kerbel, Josée Bisaillon

"Perfect for encouraging engagement, and appreciation, for the wonders of the natural world; if there are maple trees nearby all the better to inspire a hands-on connection that will send readers whirling outdoors"

- School Library Journal

"Softly colored, childlike illustrations set a gentle tone for the seed’s quiet journey ... [A] charming look at seeds and life cycles."

- Booklist

"Back matter about maple seeds and their life cycles that definitely encourages a second viewing/reading of the book ... The book is wordless and this leaves lots of room for Bisaillon to explore different ways of conveying the visual narrative."

- Let's Talk Picture Books

"An enjoyable story full of joy and wonder that both children and adults will be able to relate to."

- Canadian Review of Materials
Silent Books Collection, 2023
Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2022

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