Winston's Big Wind
by Barbara Macpherson Reyelts
Atmosphere Press

"As Winston stood still, shivering and thinking, he suddenly passed an enormous blast of gas."

From birth, Winston has been flatulence-filled. His bursts of flatulence aren’t just common; they can be enormous. Due to this issue, Winston has a hard time when he begins school. Although he is a nice kid and well-liked, his inability to control his wind causes others to make fun of him. One day, he walks by a girl and her puppy trapped in a muddy ditch. Winston uses his enormous gas expulsion to save them. He rushes home to tell his mother. It seems his wind isn’t all bad. About a year later, Winston comes across a small boy trapped in a burning building. Again, Winston uses his unique ability and saves the boy. The story is written up in the local paper, and Winston, with his mighty wind, is a hero.

Reyelts’ picture book is a fun romp through a common topic that often results in giggles from children. The story is clear, and the illustrations, done by Sarah Gledhill, manage to capture the actions and emotions of the characters well. The overall effectiveness of the story would have been enhanced by some additional development of both the protagonist and the plot. However, Reyelts has successfully tapped into a topic area with a proven track record among certain readers. The fact that it is such a popular subject within the genre means that there will always be children ready for another story about characters who pass wind. Class clowns, reluctant readers, and every child who points and giggles when a classmate passes gas will find something of interest in a hero with Winston’s power.

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