________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 16. . . . April 11, 2003

cover Tornado! (Disaster).

Cynthia Pratt Nicolson.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2003.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $7.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55074-972-2 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55074-951-X (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Tornadoes-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Deborah Mervold.

**** /4


Tornado Strikes - City Survives

January 3, 2000, seemed like a quiet winter day in Owensboro, Kentucky. As residents chatted over lunch, some remarked on the unusually warm winter weather. No one realized that Mother Nature had a bigger surprise in store.

By mid-afternoon the temperature reached 16 degrees C (60 degrees F), very warm for the middle of winter. Anyone who happened to tune into a weather report heard that the National Weather Service had issued a tornado watch. Still, most people just went about their daily routines.

Then at 3:43 P.M., the warning sirens began to blare. To find out what was going on, residents turned on their radios or televisions. They heard that the tornado watch had changed to a warning. It was time to hide!

This book is the fourth title in the "Disaster" series published by Kids Can Press. The other titles include Earthquake! Hurricane! and Volcano!

     From the fourteen chapters, the glossary and the index, the reader is led through an exciting journey about tornados. The newspaper format begins on the front cover with a large photograph superimposed on newspaper columns. The newspaper concept is then continued through the chapters. Each one begins with a large heading and an illustration. The illustrations have extensive comments in darker type. The illustrations are eye catching and interesting to the topic. Illustrations/photographs are also separated from the text with small coloured borders.

     Some of the chapters contain yellow boxes with Disaster Data. This is information about Canada and the United States with extra information suitable for the topic. Other chapters contain a white box called "You Try It." This box gives a simple activity for readers to try. It begins with a basic explanation and then proceeds with the instructions, followed by what the reader would expect to see.

     The pages are in blue with black type with the extra boxes in other colours separated easily from the text. Illustrations are drawings and photographs sometimes taken from actual newspaper clippings. Sometimes the information is off center or slightly tilted which adds some variety and interest to the look of the page.

     The glossary is easy to read and very age appropriate. There are 19 entries with the entry word in darker type. An index concludes the book. Page numbers are in small yellow ovals at the bottom of each page.

     Information is given in kilometers followed by miles in parenthesis and similarly in Celsius followed by Fahrenheit. This is an excellent idea for readers in Canada and the United States.

     The language is very suitable for the intended audience. Readers interested in weather or tornados would be enthused about the photographs and the information. It is a very useable resource for a variety of ages.

Highly Recommended.

Deborah Mervold is a teacher-librarian and a Grade 12 English teacher at W.P. Sandin Composite High School, a grade 5 to 12 school in Shellbrook, SK.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364