About the Holiday
If you live in a coastal area, your used to watching for hurricanes during the summer and fall. Meteorologists and wary residents follow these tropical cyclones as they swirl across the ocean, threatening any landmass in their way. To be categorized as a hurricane, the storm must possess sustained winds of or above 74 miles per hour. You can learn more about hurricanes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. Kids can learn ten facts about hurricanes on the National Geographic Kids website.
Hear the Wind Blow
Written by Doe Boyle | Illustrated by Emily Paik
A girl wakes at dawn to a calm, quiet morning in her seaside town. Gazing out her open window she feels “a kiss of air— / a soft breath, a phantom wisp, / faint as shadows, cool and crisp.” As the breeze picks up, leaves rustle across the street as the girl and her mom leave the house to walk their dog. Meanwhile, along the shore the tall grasses begin “sharing whispered summer secrets / with the silent, stalking egrets,” and the flames of a family’s campfire dance with the growing breeze.
Suddenly, the wind whips up, sending leaves flying and trees swaying. The girl and her mom rush home, their dog running ahead, as rain pelts down. The sky has turned as dark as night and “now the windstorm whips and wails— / sucks at sand and billows sails.” As the storm approaches the girl, her mom and dad, and their pup huddle together in cozy quilts and sing loudly, drowning out “the fearsome sound.”
“When the hurricane comes roiling, / popcorn’s popped, the kettle’s boiling.” Outside the waves crash and spray, the wind screeches, and boats rock, their sails snapping and “their rigging slapping. / Wires droop, and tree roots shudder— / the world’s atilt, without a rudder.”
But hours later the wind is gone, the sun is out and “stillness echoes through the town.” Neighbors emerge to inspect their homes and yards. They help each other clean up and mop up, sharing stories of where and how they sheltered from the storm. On the beach, the girl and her dog watch sailboats skim the now-gentle waves as “all the windswept world spins on.”
Backmatter includes an Author’s Note revealing that each stanza of the lyrical text “represents, in order, one of the thirteen categories of the Beaufort wind force scale, from 0 – 12” as well as a discussion on wind. Doe Boyle also includes a detailed description of the Beaufort scale, along with the chart, which categorizes wind by number, speed, force, sea effects, and land effects. A glossary of words found in the book and a list of suggested reading rounds out this fascinating and useful resource.
With a stirring combination of poetry and science, Doe Boyle invites readers to experience the coming and aftermath of a hurricane with a peer, her family, and her community. Beautiful, evocative vocabulary allow kids to hear the scurrying leaves, groaning trees, and pounding waves as the wind begins as a breezy whisper and grows to whipping, wailing force. As the storm intensifies, Boyle’s stanzas lengthen and her rhythms become quicker and more urgent, immersing readers in learning about the Beaufort Scale while also finding reassurance in the comfort of family.
Emily Paik’s vivid illustrations give readers visual clues to the onset of the hurricane, from calm blue skies and gently fluttering leaves to a wind strong enough to blow away a man’s hat and whip up rolling waves to a darkening sky, bending trees, and pattering rain. The girl and her mother’s facial expressions show their increasing concern and need to get home. When they reach their house, the girl’s dad has the door flung open, welcoming them back to their cozily lit home. An image of the family singing together above the wind is a heartening respite in the midst of the storm.
While Hear the Wind Blow focuses on a hurricane, the information about wind is applicable to any kind of windstorm. The book is an excellent choice for summer reading at home and would be a superb addition to lessons on weather for teachers and homeschoolers. Hear the Wind Blow book is highly recommended for home, classroom, and public library collections.
Ages 4 – 8
Albert Whitman & Company, 2021 | ISBN 978-0807545614
Discover more about Doe Boyle and her books on her website.
To view a portfolio of work by Emily Paik visit her website.
Hurricane Season Activity
Catch the Wind! Windsock Craft
You can feel the wind in your hair and see it blowing through the trees, but can you actually catch it? You can with this easy-to-make windsock!
- 1 large yogurt container (32 oz) or 1-pound deli salad container
- 1 long-sleeve T-shirt
- Strong glue
- Dowel, 5/8 diameter x 48-inches long or longer
- Rubber band
- sewing seam ripper or cuticle scissors
- X-acto knife
- Remove the sleeve from a long-sleeve t-shirt with the seam ripper or cuticle scissors
- Cut the shoulder off the sleeve by cutting straight across from the underarm seam
- Cut 2 inches from the bottom of the yogurt container OR cut the bottom out of the deli container with the x-acto knife or scissors
- With the x-acto knife or scissors, make a hole a little smaller than the diameter of the dowel about 1 inch from the rim of the container
- Slide the container into the large opening of the sleeve
- Fold about a ¾ -inch edge over the rim of the container and attach all along the rim with strong glue
- Put the rubber band around the outside edge of the opening
- Tie the bottom of the sleeve’s cuff together with the string
- To attach the dowel: Option 1: leaving the t-shirt in place, push the dowel and material through the hole in the container. The t-shirt material will hold the dowel in place (I used this option). Option 2: cut a small hole in the t-shirt at the location of the hole in the container. Push the dowel through this hole and the hole in the container. Secure with strong glue
- Stick your windsock in the ground in an open area where it can catch the wind. As the wind changes direction, you can turn your windsock so the opening faces the wind.
You can find Hear the Wind Blow at these booksellers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million
To support your local independent bookstore, order from
Picture Book Review