Kirkus Reviews QR Code
FAQ WEATHER by Valerie Wyatt

FAQ WEATHER

By Valerie Wyatt (Author) , Brian Share (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-55074-582-4
Publisher: Kids Can

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)