Monday, June 29, 2009

It's Hurricane Season!

June 1st marked the start of the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf Hurricane Season. It runs through November 30. For more information, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.

I have four books up for review today, one non-fiction book and three realistic-fiction works. All of them are very much appropriate for sharing with children who grow up along the U.S. coastal areas and are likely to live through hurricanes. They are also appropriate for sharing with children as a way to show them how different weather patterns impact different areas of the United States.

Cole, Joanna.
The Magic School Bus: Inside a Hurricane.
Scholastic, Inc.

As the students in Ms. Frizzle's class embark on yet another of their "field trips," to the weather station, readers are sure to learn a great deal of true information about hurricanes:
  • why hurricanes have names
  • what time of the year is considered "hurricane season"
  • how tropical storms turn into hurricanes
  • the reasons that hurricane winds blow in circles
  • how big a hurricane is
  • speed of winds during a hurricane
  • the quiet inside the eye of the hurricane
  • how hurricanes travel
  • what part of the hurricane is the strongest
  • how tornadoes and hurricanes are alike
  • and the future of hurricanes
I love The Magic School Bus books because children are learning true information while it seems as though they're just reading any other story because of the field trips taking place! I've used them a few times in the past in the classroom alongside the videos and children love them!

Lakin, Patricia.
The Millbrook Press, Inc.

Spending August at a cottage along the coast is a little girl's favorite thing to do. She enjoys swinging on the swing her dad hangs from a branch, having picnics under the tree and diving into the cool, calm water of the bay. However, the memories of this summer are likely to be a bit different from summers past. Just a few days after they arrive, Hurricane Bob also makes an appearance, ripping the beach apart, splitting houses in two, tearing down trees and knocking out power. This summer will likely be spent helping summer neighbor rebuild.

The story very vividly captures the emotions faced when going through a hurricane and depicts perfectly the damage that can be caused by such a storm. I think this is a great book to introduce children to hurricanes (at least the damage that can be caused), although it doesn't go into great detail about the storm itself. I enjoyed reading it!

Parent/Teacher Guide for Hurricane!

Wiesner, David.
Clarion Books.
Guided Reading Level: N

Two young brothers put their imaginations to work after a hurricane passes through and downs one of two elm trees that stood in the corner of their backyard. Rather than being depressed by the storm and the lack of power, they make the best of a bad situation, allowing their imaginations to run wild and believe all the cool things that the tree could act as.
David fearlessly led the expedition into the very heart of the jungle, stalking the mighty leopard.
That afternoon they rode the seven seas with George at the helm, while David searched the horizon for pirate ships.
All the next day and the day after that they journeyed to the stars and beyond.
The book is quite clever because it takes a bad situation and shows children that somehow, some way they can make the best of it! I think this would be a perfect read for a rainy summer day!

Demas, Corinne.
Marshall Cavendish.
Guided Reading Level: L

Margo helps her mother and father prepare for Hurricane Bob - pulling the clean clothes from the clothesline, filling the bathtub with water (they have an electric pump for their well), picking all of the vegetables from the garden, even helping her father secure Allegro (the family sail boat). We then watch as the storm hits land and the damage that is done on the property and along the shore line.

Although this is a fictional story, it is based on Demas' family's experience when Hurricane Bob hit the coast of Cape Cod in August of 1991. The book is perfect for families living along the coast, as children will relate to the events and preparation leading up to an impending hurricane and will also be able to relate to the experience of living through a hurricane.

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to