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‘The Wind Garden’ is Angela McAllister’s poignant tale of the relationship between an aging and infirm grandpa and his  granddaughter, and the garden they try to build on the roof terrace of his flat.

It’s a story of hope.

And of trying and failing and trying again.

But perhaps most wonderfully it’s a story that become a flight of imagination when the wind which had broken their sunflower’s heads and dried out their potted seedlings one evening carries Ellie  away to ‘where the wind blows’.

“Soon she came to a little wood on a mountain top. The wind gently set her down. Ellie saw that all the trees were hung with things the wind had carried away; kites and balloons, hats and handkerchiefs, coloured flags, church bells and lost washing.

It was the wind’s garden.”

And it’s the wind garden that gives Ellie the idea to create a marvellous kinetic garden on the windy roof terrace.

The book’s a delight, and I wholeheartedly recommend it… to children of all ages.

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The Wind Garden in the trees on the hill…
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“if only grandpa could see it…”
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Bringing vivid colour and animation to the roof terrace… objects dancing, fluttering, circling, sailing and flying in the wind…

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The story got me thinking.

At work I’m starting to devise an experiential curriculum for a number of disengaged and demotivated Primary-aged boys.

The learning adventures I have in mind, from fire parties to swimming, from rock climbing to film making are aimed at stirring the children’s imaginations, exciting them to learn and share new skills, perhaps even to get a bit of writing out of them!

Each adventure will take a book as a starting point, from Quentin Blake’s ‘The Green Ship’ to Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Stick Man’. I think ‘The Wind Garden’ will join the booklist too.

Here are a few images to whet the appetite for our very own wind garden to be built from garlands and bunting and flags and windmills and windsocks of all kinds.

I’ll let you know how we get on…

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