7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #788: Featuring Marianne Dubuc

h1 March 27th, 2022 by jules


In the world of picture books, we see a lot of hero journeys, which usually involve the hero returning home. I love Marianne Dubuc’s Bear and the Whisper of the Wind (Princeton Architectural Press, March 2022), originally published in French in 2020, because the protagonist takes a different kind of journey, the kind that takes him away from home and the kind that is hard to explain — but nonetheless necessary.

Bear lives in a small, comfortable cottage in the woods. He has friends, even ones who bring strawberry pie. He lives a “sweet life” and has everything he needs. But one day the “wind changes, and Bear senses that it is time to go.”

That’s it. He just feels it in his bones. Maybe he can’t really even explain it, but he just knows that his chair is not as cozy as before and even that strawberry pie doesn’t taste as good. There are even subtle hints that Bear has experienced a loss, possibly (and I love that it’s never laid out in great detail). It’s time for Bear to move on. It’s time for something new. He sets off, leaving his door open for someone else who might need his snug, cozy home.

Mind you, Bear isn’t entirely sure about where to go. Essentially, he follows the wind. There are times he feels lonely, but there are also times he feels free.

He meets kind Rabbit, who invites him in. He feels safe and comfortable for the first time in a while, but once again he “hears the whisper of the wind telling him that it is time to go.” It’s not always easy — Bear gets lost and must face his fears — but he makes a new friend and a new home. And the “wind is quiet again.”

I love Bear’s wanderlust and restlessness, his uncertainty and daring. (Just look at him on that cover, heading out alone, despite not knowing what’s to come.) I love that his departure doesn’t have to be explained. And I love, as always, Dubuc’s delicate, fine-lined illustrations in pencil, colored pencil, and watercolors. It’s easy to linger over these spreads and get lost in Bear’s journey. Below are some spreads. (The black lines down the center represent the book’s gutter.)


“He still likes to sit in his favorite chair, but it isn’t as cozy as it used to be.
And he still loves the smell of strawberry pie, but it doesn’t taste as good as it used to.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Bear doesn’t know where to go …”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“To lose something, or someone, that you love is very sad.
‘Would you like a slice of strawberry pie?’ Rabbit asks.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


BEAR AND THE WHISPER OF THE WIND. Text & illustrations © Marianne Dubuc, 2020. Original title: Ours et le murmure de vent. English edition © Princeton Architectural Press, 2022. Illustrations reproduced by their permission.

* * * Jules’s Kicks * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

1) Ice cream cake.

2) A new song from Andrew Bird. Also, this:



3) I contributed to this, because yay poetry.

4) I finally watched Obit, which I’ve wanted to see for years. I like Jeff, who runs what they call The Morgue (an impressive, to say the least, old clippings library), and I covet his job.

5) Kelly Barnhill’s new book! Our next read-aloud.

6) Speaking of read-alouds … this poem. It’s like the author has been hanging around my house (though I’m still very much alive).

7) Long walks.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #788: Featuring Marianne Dubuc”

  1. Well, drat, my comments disappeared. I love the phrase ‘ the whisper of the wind” and Bear’s adventures.
    I had a great week with friends, sunshine, trip planning, and Buster.
    have a great week.

  2. Hello to all the Imps, bears, and wanderers! Hope that spring is treating you well.

    Jules: Ice cream is delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had ice cream cake, though I know what it is. Congrats on being included on the list!

    Hi Jone and Buster!

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Okay
    2) Recovered
    3) Ground
    4) Placement
    5) Offers
    6) Selections
    7) Choice

  3. Greetings, Kickers!

    Bear certainly has the right spirit, doesn’t he? But now I’m so curious about all the unanswered questions (especially: Does he get home???) that I may just have to seek the book out!

    Jules: thanks for the music (an always reliable source, you) and for the ‘Obit’ rec. Several ways to stream the latter, so yay!

    jone: I just finished reading a novel which featured a Buster. I don’t suppose yours, too, is a big old Alsatian a/k/a German shepherd dog?

    Little Willow: #7. ALWAYS #7!

    1. Never running out of photos to take.
    2. Seeing the blue-and-yellow color combination *everywhere* over the last month.
    3. History etc. classes streaming on the Wondrium (ack!) channel.
    4. Finally saw ‘Dune’ last night. Have yet to read the book, only vaguely recall the David Lynch version, was mightily impressed by this one.
    5. Temperature here in LV has climbed up to around 90 for the last few days — encouraging an earlier, longer walk each day rather than a “sometime before noon” and “sometime before dinner” pair of shorter ones.
    6. Speaking of walks, discovered a new(ish) city park this week — a long, spindly sort of trail at the foot of an urban canyon. Lots of cactus, yucca, that kind of thing.
    7. Costco chicken pot pie: my mother finally talked us into trying it. I won’t say it’s good as homemade (not that I remember what homemade tastes like!), but it struck us as pretty darned good.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  4. P.S. Oh, Bear…! No spoilers, but I loved the author’s note at the end: “Sometimes life forces us to move, whether physically or mentally. It’s important to let ourselves be guided by this ebb and flow, remembering that everything will be fine in the end and that there is always a comforting corner of the world to find.” I certainly hold onto that thought myself these days!

  5. Love that gorgeous cover and the story of a hero who wanders.

    Jules – i LOVE Obit, such a great doc! Love learning about other peoples well-lived lives. yay for ice cream cake and poetry – that poem took my breath away.

    Jone – sounds like you had good week. Hi to Buster!

    Little Willow – love kicks 1, 2 and 7 this week.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Raspberry pancakes.
    2) Sunny spring days.
    3) Working in the garden while Daisy naps in the sun.
    4) Sunday morning coffee & my Spotify “Love” playlist playing. (I made it especially for Sundays.)
    5) Season 2 of Starstruck
    6) Daisy had a health scare this week & so grateful for her vets who got us in the same day so we could start figuring out what was going on.
    7) Antibiotics helping Daisy get back to her sassy spoiled self. Yay Science!
    7.5) Friends who send poems that speak to exactly what/how you are feeling.

    Have a great week Imps!

  6. John! Missed you in cyberspace! Love your series of blue-and-yellow photos. And big yum to chicken pot pie!

  7. Hi! I’ll be back tomorrow. (Today got away from me. Wheeeee!)

  8. Rachel — love how many of your kicks center around Daisy. I ***so*** miss having a dog; really hoping we’ll finally put down roots somewhere so we can get one!

  9. I’m here!

    Jone, sorry about your comment. I don’t see it in the 7-Imp spam or trash folders. Hmm. Hope this week is as good as last week’s.

    Little Willow, how much do I love “ground” as a kick? Sounds like you had a challenging week that turned itself around.

    Hi John. I still want to see Dune. Glad you enjoyed it. And your chicken pot pie. And, yes, that closing author’s note is gold.

    Rachel, I have never had raspberry pancakes, but raspberry is clearly the best fruit. MUST fix this. And I’m soooo glad Daisy is okay!

    Have a good week, you all!

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