I love books by Nicola Davies and Ride the Wind is a heart-warming tale of loss and love.
Javier spends his days catching fish aboard the Magdalena with his father and Uncle Felipe. The worst part of the job is when a bird, who is after an easy meal, gets hooked on the line. Today, Javier hopes that a bird will not be caught but when the worst happens, he decides to take action. Keeping the injured bird hidden from his father he plans to nurse it back to health. The kind locals offer support with their gifts of ointments and bedding and food. But in a small village secrets do not stay secret for long and when his father learns of the hidden albatross he demands that the bird must go back to sea on the next fishing trip. With the days rapidly passing by, Javier desperately needs his beloved albatross to fly home freely. But will it...
Davies tells a sensitive and heart-felt story about a father and son both grieving the loss of a loved one. The young boy, who is filled with sadness at the loss of his mother, finds comfort in the albatross all the while dealing with a father who is full of anger. The story sees the relationship between the father and boy transform from a coldness to a beautiful moment of reconciliation and tenderness as the father comes to the realisation that not only has he lost his wife but his son has lost his mother.
Davies’ story is accompanied by Salvatore Rubbino’s wonderful watercolour illustrations that capture the drama, the highs, the lows, and the desperation of a young child trying to protect the albatross he loves whose fate is at stake. A lovely author’s note at the beginning includes fascinating information about the wandering albatross.
A story of loss, love, empathy and reconciliation. It will touch the heart of any reader, young or old.
Recommended for 5+.