From dancing to appease a weather god to observing and investigating with modern scientific tools, humans have come a long way in their understanding of the weather.
The author of previous titles about old and new ideas about dinosaurs and the solar system here introduces Earth’s weather and climate. This lighthearted overview skips lightly through history and around the world, giving examples of past weather explanations and prediction methods. Each former belief is contrasted with today’s understandings about: the water cycle; thunderstorms; the vital role of the sun and the importance of many other geographical factors; using instruments and satellites to make predictions of hurricanes and other weather phenomena; and past and present climate change, including modern global warming and new, more destructive weather patterns. About modern climate change deniers, Kudlinski boldly states, “Boy, are they wrong!” (One exception to the “Boy, were they wrong!” pattern is the 2,000-year-old adage about red skies in the morning. This works, and Kudlinski provides a scientific explanation.) Serra’s lively cartoon-style illustrations, created with pencil and computer graphics, are cheery and upbeat. Gray storms are contrasted with colorful indoor and outdoor scenes. Simplifying such a complex subject can lead to missteps, such as suggesting that “germs” can form the cores of raindrops rather than bacteria. But overall the information is appropriate for the intended readers.
A humorous take on an endlessly interesting subject. (timeline, websites) (Informational picture book. 5-8)