Category Archives: Adaptable for Telling

The Contest Between the Sun and the Wind

The Contest Between the Sun and the Wind: An Aesop’s Fable
Retold by Heather Forest and illustrated by Susan Gaber
Little, 2008


This delightful adaptation of Aesop’s Fable is dedicated to “Peace Makers everywhere,” and with good reason. When the Sun and the Wind get into an argument over who is most powerful, it is gentleness that rules the day.

The story follows the classic fable closely. The Sun and Wind agree to a contest to see who can “make” the man take off his coat. The Wind sends a mighty gale to force the man’s coat off, but the man just pulls it tighter against the cold.  The Sun exudes a gentle warmth instead, and slowly but surely the man complies and unbuttons and then removes his coat.

The adaptation flows smoothly with a lyrical tone that is well-suited to a young, contemporary ear. The illustrations are engaging and dynamic. The retelling allows the story to come through without an overly pedantic tone and without superfluous additions that detract from a well-honed classic. This adaptation would work well for either telling or for sharing as a picture book.

Themes: Power, Force, Strength, Gentleness, Cooperation

Motifs: Sun, Wind, Weather, Coat

Reviewer: Kristin Maier
Author, A Good Telling: Bringing Worship to Life with Story