________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 10 . . . . January 19, 2001

cover Weather: Frequently Asked Questions.

Valerie Wyatt. Illustrated by Brian Share.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2000.
40 pp., pbk. & cl., $6.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55074-815-7 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55074-582-4 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Weather-Miscellanea-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4 - 8 / Ages 9 - 13.

Review by Liz Greenaway.

**** /4


FAQ: Where do clouds come from?

Clouds in the sky are like a big version of the cloud you make when you breathe out on a very cold day. Water vapor in your warm breath condenses when it hits the cold outside air and sticks to tiny particles in the air. Presto, you've make a cloud.

The same thing happens in the sky. When warm, moist air is cooled, the water vapor in it sticks to floating particles. Millions of tiny cloud droplets are formed. It is these droplets that give clouds their hazy white look. Cloud droplets are minuscule. It would take about a million of them to make an average-sized raindrop.

Anyone who remembers dutifully drawing yet another picture of the water cycle, or who can't tell a hurricane from a typhoon from a baboon, take heart, help is at hand. Award-winning author Valerie Wyatt has a proven track record in writing science in a fresh accessible way for young people. Now from the author of books such as The Science Book of Girls comes Weather, an updated version of her 1990 book, Weather Watch. This time around, Wyatt uses the "popular Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) format employed by many Internet web sites." While I'm not familiar with the format from the Internet, it is effective in giving short simple answers to a variety of questions ranging from the basic, "How big are raindrops?" to "What's it like inside a cloud?" and biggies like, "What will the Earth be like with Global warming?" While some of the answers seem a little oversimplified, they do manage to convey what can be complex scientific concepts in a non-threatening way.

      In addition to providing lots of quirky information and fun facts about weather, Wyatt provides ample experiments for kids to explore weather on their own. Kids learn how to measure raindrops, find out what's in the air, and look at snowflakes up close. Other perks include a fabulous cloud chart and a snow chart as well as a complete glossary and index. I love the overall design of the book. Brian Share's illustrations nicely complement the text as well as being some of the most imaginative I've seen in a kid's nonfiction book.

Highly Recommended.

Alberta's Liz Greenaway is a parent of two small children, a former bookseller, and, in another life, she used to work for Kids Can Press.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364