Great Gusts: Winds of the World and the Science Behind Them


Melanie Crowder, Megan Benedict, Khoa Le


From Antarctica’s biting katabatic gusts to Hawai‘i’s sweet-smelling moani, discover fourteen winds of the world through poetry, scientific facts, and transporting illustrations.

Lift your face to the breeze—
let it bathe your cheeks
sift through your hair
tease your fingertips.

Meet the winds of the world in this beautifully illustrated collection of poems from MIT Kids Press. Journey across the world and discover the many different winds in this enchanting poetic picture book. Meet Italy’s swaggering Maestro who sweeps along the coast on hot summer days; join the penguins in Antarctica as the icy Katabatic blusters and blows; and hear the resounding BOOM and CLASH of the Sumatra Squall.

Each spread includes scientific information on how each wind is formed, where it blows and the weather systems it heralds. With charming illustrations by an award-winning artist, this is a fascinating picture book to inspire wonder.

In a dynamic collection of poems, Melanie Crowder and Megan Benedict explore the world’s winds, from Italy’s swaggering maestro to Libya’s fierce ghibli to Canada’s howling squamish. The poetic styles used reflect the characteristics and sometimes the location of each wind: Japan’s blustery oroshi is celebrated in haiku, for example, while the poem about Britain’s helm uses iambs in a nod toward the iambic pentameter of English sonnets. Sidebars relay the science behind how each wind forms, where it blows, and the weather systems it heralds, and the airy art from award-winning illustrator Khoa Le is overlaid with scientifically accurate wind lines that show the path of each gust. More meteorological details can be found in the back matter, which includes explorations of the origin of wind and how winds are named, a world map pinning the winds’ locations, a glossary, and books for further reading.

A colorful picture-book format, expressive poems, vibrant art, and detailed scientific information combine for an engaging introduction to 14 types of wind around the globe. . . there is plenty here to illuminate and intrigue on many levels. A stirring addition to poetry collections or to complement Earth-science lessons.
—Booklist (starred review)

Pairing evocative poems with informative text, authors Crowder and Benedict introduce wind to young readers . . Poetic tone and form tend to match the subjects: playful rhyme and jaunty meter introduces the maestro, a warm sea breeze that blows over Italy in the summer months; onomatopoeia effectively conveys the booms and clashes of the Sumatra Squall. . . The digital art is energetic and flowing, as smudgy, swirling textures, sleek lines, and negative space all work together to highlight the feel and effect of each wind. An easy pick for a seasonal storytime, be sure to have this ready on breezy or blustery days.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


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