Wednesday, September 10, 2014
WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Weather!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Freddy the Frog loves learning about the weather, and he’s known for having the best predictions in town. But what happens when the town picnic is almost ruined by a storm that catches the local frogcaster by surprise? Freddie has to step in to save the day! Well-known Fox News broadcast meteorologist Janice Dean pens this exciting and hilarious tale about an aspiring weathercaster who can’t keep his eyes off the sky. Children and adults will love the charming frog world Freddy lives in, and the fun science lessons he shares, with an activities section in the back.
Freddy the Frogcaster is a really fun way to learn about weather and the science of predicting it. Freddy is a frog that loves the weather. With the help of his family he builds his own weather station where he spends hours recording weather information. He enjoys watching Sally Croaker, the local meteorologist, on TV to see if his predictions match up with hers. But when she goes on maternity leave and her substitute is more interested in publicity that accurately predicting the weather, can Freddy step in to save the day by predicting the weather for the upcoming Leapfrog Picnic?
The illustrations are bright and colorful and appealing. The story shows not only the importance of weather prediction but the challenges that go with it and how much people rely on it. The length of the text makes it more appropriate for slightly older readers but this would make a fun family read-aloud or a good introduction to weather in the classroom. The information at the end about weather prediction and the instruments used to do it is great for readers who are especially interested in weather (and if my experiences are anything to go by, many children are fascinated by weather).
ABOUT THE BOOK
Witness the changing of a season through a watchful child's eyes in this story of nature and discovery from award-winning author Tony Johnston and New York Times Best Illustrated artist Jim La Marche.
Day after day, a girl goes to her favorite place in the woods and quietly watches from her tree house as the chipmunks, the doe, the rabbits prepare for the winter. As the temperature drops, sunset comes earlier and a new season begins. Silently she observes the world around her as it reveals its secrets. It takes time and patience to see the changes as, slowly but surely, winter comes.
The text is beautiful. The illustrations are gorgeous. Overall, the book is an all around winner. Jim LaMarche has long been one of my favorite illustrators, so whenever I see a new book by him I have to get it. But in this case I ended up loving the text in verse as much as the illustrations. The soft and expressive illustrations demonstrate the joy that can come in watching the seasons change. The text allows the reader to feel the joy the girl feels as she sees the animals searching for food, taking notes and drawing pictures to remember it, all from the safety of her tree platform. I also loved the way the illustrator took details from the text and included them in his illustrations all while adding his own special touches. Both the text and the illustrations convey the passage of time (the girl's changing clothes for example). A wonderful example of the joys that can be found in the world around us.