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WHAT'S THE WEATHER? by Shelley Rotner


by Shelley Rotner ; photographed by Shelley Rotner

Pub Date: March 17th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4349-9
Publisher: Holiday House

Full-color photographs accompany large-print text about weather and climate change.

As with Rotner’s other books, the layout and photography will draw viewers in. However, the diverse children in the photos lack the spontaneity of previous titles, too often looking like posed models rather than ordinary children experiencing different kinds of weather. There are some striking photographs of cloud formations and other phenomena (many from stock sources). The text vacillates, offering in turn simplistic two- or three-word statements regarding weather, well-formulated compound sentences with easily digested information, and complex, clumsy sentences such as: “It snows when the temperature is low and clouds get heavy and fill with drops of water that freeze and fall to the ground.” It is also unfortunate that, after mentioning that seasonal changes are dependent on “where you live,” the text launches into sentences that describe specifically the seasons in temperate climates—without specifying that this is the case. This is at least as important as the later introduction of the North and South poles or the word “meteorologist.” After giving some basic facts about such things as the difference between sleet and hail, there is a rudimentary explanation of global warming and climate change. Credit is due for including this. However, both in this section and earlier in the book, there are awkward sentences that almost defy meaning. In short, neither text nor art measures up to, for example, Hello Summer! (2019) and its seasonal companions.

Intermittent fog obscures introductory meteorology and climatology.

(glossary, note from climatologist) (Informational picture book. 3-6)