“A Wild Windy Night” by Yui Abe


As the clock approaches 8 pm, a young boy hears the howling wind and believes it is asking him to come out and play. When his mother informs him that it’s bedtime, Ricky settles down for the night. The wind, however, does not. 


The wind grew stronger and stronger.
Rattle-rattle. The windows shook.”


Soon Ricky, a young Japanese boy, is sitting up in bed, watching as the objects around him get swept up into the air. The nocturnal adventure begins.


A Wild Windy Night, Yui Abe (Museyon, March 2024)
A Wild Windy Night, Yui Abe, Alexandra Mallia (trans) (Museyon, March 2024)

Written and illustrated by Yui Abe and with an English translation by Alexandra Mallia, A Wild Windy Night is a short and sweet bedtime story for young imaginations. Part of the tradition of stories that come alive once the lights are turned off, Abe takes a sound that might frighten children and turns the fear into a game of hide and seek.

Born in Miyagi, Japan and now based in Tokyo, Abe has drawn illustrations that are vivid and lively, showing the wind through the movement of the objects (and of Ricky) with drama but also with a certain softness. The full-page images show the details of Abe’s work and provide a number of opportunities to spark conversations about fear, imagination and nocturnal sights and sounds. In her illustrations, Abe captures Ricky’s expressions of fear, awe, amusement, joy and, once the fear of wind is put to bed, calm.

A Wild Windy Night is easy to integrate into a bedtime ritual and, for some, might be a soothing antidote to a night time fright.

Melanie Ho is the author of Journey to the West: He Hui, a Chinese Soprano in the World of Italian Opera.