Title: Windy & Whirly
Author: Lisa Owen
Publication Date: May 31, 2013
Publisher: Alpha Wolf Publishing
Recommended Age: 3 to 7
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
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My Summary: Windy & Whirly is about two unusual friends: Windy the dryer and Whirly the washing machine who meet in a warehouse when they were just little … ummm, I mean young. They develop a strong bond and one day, they are purchased together and brought to a new home by a family with the surname “Owen” (which just happens to be the author’s last name!) For a long time, they happily do the family’s laundry together until Windy wakes up one morning to find her friend Whirly gone.
Windy, desperate to reunite with her friend, magically develops the ability to speak to her owner (Mrs. Owen) demanding to know where her friend has disappeared to. Mrs. Owen, rather surprised by this turn of events, explains that Whirly has been taken to her new home and proceeds to ask Mr. Owen to bring Windy as well so the pair can be reunited. Windy once again re-joins Whirly where the two spend the rest of their days together.
My Thoughts: I think on one level, children will be entertained by this simple story about the bond of friendship. As we adults know, washers and dryers come in pairs and this book represents a fantasy of what these appliances would be like if they could talk. It was very sweet to read the story of how dedicated the two appliances were to one another and how they would find comfort in each other. The story itself is unique and there is a simple underlying message about friendship.
Ok, I have to admit that I had a problem with the dryer coming to life and speaking to Mrs. Owen. Perhaps it is my inability to suspend disbelief to this extent, but I feel that hearing inanimate objects’ “thoughts” is one thing, but for them to communicate with humans using speech goes a bit too far. However, that is just MY opinion. It could very well be that children have no issue with this. My kids didn’t really comment on this one way or the other.
I also have to comment about the illustrations. I had trouble telling Windy and Whirly apart. In some pictures, Windy had a distinct door on her face, in others, she did not – it was very confusing. Unfortunately, the washer and dryer were not depicted in ways that were overly distinct and identifiable from page to page. I would have liked to see more distinction between the two, similar to the pictures on the cover.
My Bottom Line: Windy & Whirly is a sweet picture book with an underlying message about friendship that I believe will be enjoyed by children aged 3 to 7 years. While I had trouble with the talking appliances, children may be able to suspend disbelief better than I could. I also feel that the illustrations of the washer and dryer could have been clearer and more consistently drawn throughout the book.
* I was given this book free-of-charge by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own. *