CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 10 . . . . January 19, 2001
FAQ: Where do clouds come from?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.
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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