This debut picture book celebrates the letter “W” through the story a boy who explores all the “whoosh”-y things that wind does.
In all seasons, Winston loves the wind: on a sunny spring day, “when a whispery wind comes to play”; in summer, when it bends the willows; in autumn, when it ruffles the fallen leaves; and in winter, when it makes waves of the snow. Harrison uses boldfaced text to highlight words that start with “W,” as well as seasonal words: “leaves wave, wiggle and waffle to the ground on a breezy autumn day.” The author nicely avoids an overly serious, didactic tone, instead emphasizing the playfulness and energy inherent in wind and in children: “Some grown-ups look worried by strong winds…but not Winston! He loves the whirling and the whoosh of the water on the windows when the wind gets wicked.” Young readers are likely to relate to Winston’s love of anarchic whirling, dancing, giggling, and whipping around. Harrison’s inventiveness with “W” words when describing the wind mimics Winston’s imaginative play in a way that underlines the book’s wordplay concept. The story is useful, too, as a teaching aid, as it includes a list of all the “W” words used in the book, along with a prompt: “What other W words can you think of?” Another prompt asks readers to think of activities they could do with Winston to further explore “W” words, such as flying a kite; further questions include “What sound does wind make?” The author also invites readers to find a dragonfly illustration on every page of the book and to name Winston’s dog—an opportunity to think of other names that start with “W.” Debut illustrator Bounds’ colorful, appropriately cheerful illustrations have a naïve feel, but they manage to capture some of Winston’s and the wind’s energy.
A simple but enjoyable introduction to “W” words.