Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech
Hello, Sharon Creech! Welcome back to Watch. Connect. Read.! I love booktalking Saving Winslow during my school visits. Thank you for telling Louie and Winslow’s beautiful story.
Sharon Creech: I am honored to visit Watch. Connect. Read again, and thank you, Mr. Schu, for introducing SAVING WINSLOW to students.
I wrote the words in purple, and Sharon Creech wrote the words in black.
Saving Winslow tells the story of Louie, who rescues Winslow, an orphaned donkey, and of the deep bond that forms between them. But wait! It also tells the story of Louie and Nora, a quirky girl who has mixed feelings about caring for the vulnerable donkey. But wait! It also tells the story of Louie and his older brother Gus who is now in the army. But wait! There’s more . . .but I will stop now.
Saving Winslow’s cover shares some design elements with the covers of Love that Dog, Hate that Cat, and Moo, suggesting that these four stories are ‘of a piece’ in tone and subject matter. I love Saving Winslow’s bright blue and yellow colors and the small image of the baby donkey tugging on a tethered red leash that wraps around to a post on the spine and is unfastened on the back.
Donkeys make me laugh. The ones I have met have been affectionate, silly and ridiculously loud. Recently my granddaughter moved her sheep flock to a new farm, and on that farm lives only one other animal. . . a donkey! His name is Jonathan and he is (according to a sign on his stall) a registered Democrat. He loves the sheep and is a great protector of them. He also loves apples and mint candy.
Louie’s brother Gus, who is in the army, is much-missed by Louie, his parents, and by neighbor Mack. Like Louie, I felt—as the writer—that saving Winslow might also help keep Gus safe. It felt as if there were important parallels between the donkey’s vulnerability and Gus’s vulnerability—and those connect to Louie’s and Nora’s vulnerabilities.
Story is central to my life. It allows me to explore and create meaning and order in our tumultuous world.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I’m working on next, but I’m glad you didn’t because what I am working on is, as my grandmother would say, “a bigga mess!” I don’t know what it is. That’s okay. I expect “normal chaos” in early drafts, and I know that if I keep writing, the bigga mess will clear itself.
Bye, Mr. Schu! It was nice visiting with you today. . .
Bye, Sharon! Thank you! :)