A fortuneteller’s daughter discovers a talent for meteorology.
Mira longs to tell fortunes like her mother, Madame Mirabella, who practices her craft in a caravan parked on a seaside boardwalk. Unfortunately, try as she might, she just hasn’t got the gift. But when her mother buys Mira a windsock and a pinwheel, the child realizes that they can help her predict the weather. She bones up on meteorology at the library, learning about barometers, anemometers, and more, then sets herself up as a weather forecaster on the boardwalk. Her accuracy is tested on a gorgeous sunny day when, after noticing the plummeting barometer, she calls a halt to a big surfing contest—just before a mammoth storm hits. Andrews’ debut folds meteorological information into a satisfying kid-finds-her-talent-and saves-the-day tale; readers will appreciate the dark-skinned girl’s expertise and the way adults listen to her. Painting digitally with a modern animation aesthetic, Marlin sets the story in a 1920s-era town, a choice that’s at odds with such details as a female lifeguard named Taylor and Mira’s recommendation that she “wear SPF 100”—not to mention the surfing contest. She festoons Mira’s mother with a hodgepodge of stereotypically exotic garb, even when she’s off duty, and dresses the rest of her fairly diverse cast in flapper-era garb. The amusement-pier backdrop adds a festive touch.
Uneven visuals make this a marginal choice. (Picture book. 3-7)