Oldham and Schaller (Little Red Conquers Her Fear of Flying, 2014) bring their heroine back to promote storm safety in their second picture book.
Little Red is a 9-year-old with plenty of spunk but a fear of storms. When the family dog, McDogall, hides under a table, Red and her brother Ian are spurred to action and start looking for supplies, such as flashlights. When a thunderclap interrupts their search, they run to their mother, pictured washing dishes. (Neither Red nor the authors point out that dishwashing, showering, and other chores that use water should wait until after a storm.) The mother, “as calm as a sunny summer day,” reminds the kids of safety tips that they received from a meteorologist at school. Red realizes that when she feels prepared, she no longer feels scared. Young readers will identify with Red and admire her bravery; Mom’s calm, and the well-lit, uncredited illustrations (with minimal storm imagery), should comfort readers with similar fears. The bright color choices for Red’s hair and clothing are particularly appealing. At the end, storm safety tips from “Our Meteorologist” offer a starting point for home preparations; a glossary covers science terms, including a few that aren’t mentioned in the story itself.
Families looking for ways to converse about safety practices may find this a useful resource.