HURRICANE!

A serviceable title in the “Disaster” series financed in part by the Ontario Arts Council. The author describes several recent hurricanes including “Mitch,” “Hugo,” “Andrew,” and “Floyd,” lists the eight worst hurricanes in the past 500 years, discusses how hurricanes are formed and measured, and interviews scientists who study hurricanes in an effort to help people prepare for them. She includes a few experiments designed to demonstrate concepts described in the text. The impact of the full-color photographs is frequently diminished because of their small size and the decision to border each in a colored box, rather like snapshots in an album. The three-column text is readable, but often abbreviated and amazingly pedestrian given the dramatic content. Describing Hurricane “Mitch,” the author notes: “About 400 crocodiles escaped from a science institute, adding to the danger.” Surely a second sentence could be added to tell the reader what happened. Or, regarding another storm: “About 2000 people were buried in the torrent of mud.” And? The author concludes with a glossary and index. Since it lacks the drama and visual appeal of Patricia Lauber’s Hurricanes (1996) or Seymour Simon’s Storms (1989), this should only be purchased where additional materials are needed. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 1-55074-906-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2002

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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