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

Great Gusts: Winds of the World and the Science Behind Them
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
March 19, 2024
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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.

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.

Editor review

1 review
Unique Exploration of Wind
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
Great Gusts is a unique book that showcases famous wind patterns from around the world in a mixture of poetry and descriptions. This book does a nice job illustrating wind which is particularly tough considering you can only see the effects of wind in real life. The poetry was a clever way to showcase the playfulness, strength, and danger of wind. It was mostly free verse but when a region is highlighted that is also famous for a specific style of poetry such as haiku that is incorporated into the book as well. Given that the name said this book was going to describe the science behind wind I found that portion a bit lacking. The book used high-tier vocabulary but in order not to detract from the poetry and illustrations the words were in bold and better definitions can be found in the glossary which makes this less helpful to learn about these words. I can see this book being of more interest to the older age range in elementary once readers have had a thorough science background in fourth grade. Since I do not live in a region of the world with a named wind that was new information to me that I found interesting. Overall, this is a unique exploration of predictable wind patterns around the world good for older children.
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