THE TORNADO WATCHES by Patrick Jennings


Age Range: 7 - 9
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In the second story about these siblings, a tornado warning sends Ike, his parents, and younger sister Mem to the basement. When the all clear is given and everyone goes to bed, Ike is worried that with the TV turned off, they won’t know if a tornado is approaching. So he puts the portable TV in bed with him and stays up all night watching movies to be on the alert. The next two nights of tornado watches result in Ike falling asleep at school, sleeping through dinner, and his mother taking him to the doctor. On the fourth night, Ike conks out during his watch and, in fact, a tornado does hit, blowing the roof off his best friend’s house next door. He wakes up in the basement, where his parents, obviously on the alert, have taken the family again. An image of the moon as an eye, watching and waiting for Ike to go to sleep adds a nice child-like touch, but it’s hard to guess exactly what is intended here. Reassurance? Well, maybe, but a tornado isn’t quite so quiet an experience as this. Unfortunately, the pen-and-ink drawings from Alter, who also illustrated the first in the series (The Bird Shadow, 2001), are uninspired and add nothing to the story. The short episode format (no chapter headings) will appeal to the first-chapter set and the third in the series is scheduled for 2003. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2002
ISBN: 0-8234-1672-0
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2002


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