'The Wind Goes On Holiday'
- How To Edit A Children's Picturebook Story -
This picturebook story is provided in 5 versions. The plot remains the same in each, but the writing styles are very diferent.
The one on this page is a 'first draft'.
On separate pages I will suggest the problems it has and provide my drastically edited versions together with the reasons for the changes made.
You may like to think how you would change this story and then see if our improvements are similar.
Please print this page if you wish, then the improved story versions, and compare them.
These links are provided again at the end of this page.
Or you can go straight to other versions - but the aim is to follow the progress of the text from one to another.
All pages have links on them.
'The Wind Goes On Holiday'
- First Draft - For Editing -
Peter E. Taylor ©2003
No one had been happy for the whole week.
The wind had been making all kinds of howling and moaning noises.
At night he woke people up by rolling milk bottles down driveways. This sounded just like alarm bells ringing. Then, when everyone was about to doze off to sleep again, Wind closed someone's door with an almighty BANG.
Wind had also blown pieces of fence far away. Some had pieces of web-silk stuck to them.
"You're too strong. Go away and leave our homes alone!" shouted the spiders.
But the Wind didn't listen.
He enjoyed making fences sway backward and forwards. He felt he needed lots of practice because he was planning to blow tall trees down. Anyway, he thought, at least I am doing the rabbits a big favour. Now they can hop through the holes I've made. It will save them digging burrows.
The mice cased after whirling and swirling strands of cotton and wool for their nests. They were so tired from running that their legs felt like sticks of wobbly jelly. And they were lost.
The bees were angry because they had been blown to places where there were no flowers.
The pigeons were cold and shivering.
The flies in the houses were tired of listening to the Wind. It had never changed the tune it whistled through the window cracks.
As the ants cleared the leaves from outside their holes, they muttered, "Go and get lost you rotten Wind!"
Birds' and insects' wings ached after days of hard flying.
And the trees and flowers were fed-up with being bent like fishing rods.
But now all the plants and animals really believed that life was going to be perfect. Well at least for a while. The Wind was going on holiday.
There were plenty of willing and eager helpers trying to make sure that the Wind had the best and longest holiday ever. Everyone had brought things that he might need: a bucket and spade, three pairs of clean wind-socks, a change of weather-vanes, packets of balloons, a copy of 'Wind In The Willows' and a trombone - for the times when he felt like a big long blow.
They all jumped for joy, waving and cheering, as the Wind set off for his vacation. Even the clams and oysters joined in, clapping their shells as hard as they could. Soon, Wind had completely vanished over the ocean.
It was so strange and peaceful in the morning.
Everyone thought it would be lovely to have a nice quiet rest. But the sea didn't like to wake up and just be 'flat' and 'calm'. It wasn't at all exciting. The grasshoppers relaxed so much that they fell off their leaves. Even the flowers looked bored as they yawned and opened very very slowly. The sun was up, but all were wondering if it really was a good day.
The lizards were the first to complain. "Oh! Aagh! Ouch!" they said as they ran in every direction over the hot rocks. "I wish the cool Wind was here!" It was so hard to find a comfortable place to stand still.
"We know how you feel," groaned one of the grasses, curling up its leaves. "We need the wind to blow some cool sea-spray on us."
"It was so much easier to find the flowers filled with nectar when Wind blew their smell towards us," moaned one of the bees. "If only the Wind was still here!"
The flowers looked worried too. They needed the bees and other insects to take pollen to their relatives to make seeds. They kept calling, "Wind. Come over here. We need you! - Wind. Where are you?"
All the creatures and plants began to shout together to see if the Wind would return.
The sun said that he couldn't help causing so much heat, and kindly offered to try to find the Wind for them. He was quickly on his way, travelling such a long way over the houses, fields and sea, that soon no one could see him any more. It went very dark.
At night the mice came out to feed, but found no grass seeds to eat. There had been no Wind to shake any to the ground.
It was going to be a long wait to see if the sun would bring the Wind back. Everyone decided to keep shouting, hoping that the Wind was listening.
When the sun found Wind, he was crying, and not enjoying his holiday at all. It was hard to believe that he was wanted back. They had been so unkind. The flies had told him to "Get tied in a wind-sock!" The birds had sung "Wind, Wind, blow away, come again another day - but not for a long time!" And the lizards had written "Good riddance!" in very large letters in the sand.
Sun explained to Wind that everyone had only got angry because he had been rushing about so madly. He had bumped them about, knocked things over, and never once thought to say, "I'm sorry!"
When the Wind stopped crying, he could hear all the plants and animals in the distance. He was so pleased that they didn't all hate him that he crept back with the sun.
"Three cheers for the Wind, 'Hip-Hip, Hooray! Hip-Hip, Hooray! Hip-Hip, Hooray!' rang out from every corner. Everyone said how sorry they were that they had said so many mean and nasty things.
Wind explained that he had not wanted to hurt anyone. "From now on I promise to try to slow down and be more careful."
"It's really good to have you back again!" called the animals.
"Yes, welcome home!" joined in the flowers. The buttercups celebrated by making sandwiches with real butter again, instead of margarine.
Everyone was ready for a party. Grinning from ear to ear and laughing, they gathered round to help Wind unpack.
Wind was now very happy again too. Warmly smiling back he replied, "Being with friends is so much better than being on holiday!"
Here's the link to take you to the editing notes
and the 'second version'.
(Once I thought this next one would be the final version,
but picturebook texts always have the potential
to be changed again in some way.)
See if you agree that it has been improved.
Yes, it's been edited several times since I first built this web page.
'The Second Version'
Here are the links to the other edits, but you may find it useful to go through them one by one. You'll find all the pages link.