FAQ WEATHER

Frequently asked questions about the weather are answered by the author who created Earthlings: Inside and Out (1999). The fussy layout, with four or more colored boxes on each double-page spread, and fanciful illustrations moving in and out of the pages, makes this a quick pick-up for casual browsing, but a difficult read. Wyatt tries to explain hard questions with brief answers. For example, she tackles “Why is it so hot in some places and so cold in others?” in five brief paragraphs, saying: “Whether you freeze or fry depends on a lot of things.” She lists how close you are to the equator, and whether you live near a large body of water. On the next page she indicates “mountains can make the weather wetter—or drier—than nearby areas.” But never clarifies the effect wet and dry have on temperature. She concludes: “So where you live has a lot to do with how hot or cold—and how rainy or dry—it is.” The illustrations by newcomer Share are glossy and often humorous, but they don't support the text. For example, for the question above, he shows a globe with a snow-suited child standing at the Arctic and a penguin with swimming trunks on a recliner near Mexico. A side bar shows a thermometer with a separate question, and the companion page shows red and blue cloud boxers bumping, and a mountain with rain on one side and dry land on the other. Other pages show flying penguins, toilets, tires, and parrots as well as camels in baseball caps. It's goofy, but why? Colorful and clever, but hard to understand. (glossary, cloud chart, extreme weather guide, snow chart, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-55074-582-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2000

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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