August 31, 2011

Today is STEM FRIDAY. Visit A Life in Books with Loree Griffin Burns to see all the great suggestions.


By Gail Gibbons

Holiday House, 2009

ISBN #9780823422333

Grades K-3

Nonfiction picture book

“The winds are howling, the rain is pouring down, violent waves are crashing onto the shore. A dangerous spinning storm has formed over tropical waters. It is a hurricane.”

 Truthfully, this book was next in line for my blog post this week. This is the time of year when hurricanes become more active, so I had it set to go. I hope the towns and people affected by Irene can get back to normal before too long.

Gibbons’ book is a terrific way to show children what happened with a hurrican and give an explanation of this force of nature. Knowledge about a scary event is a good way to better understand it and this book is a good follow-up to way to Hurricane Irene.

Hurricanes! explains what a hurricane is and how it forms over tropical waters. She mentions the damage that can occur, but in a non-threatening manner. The text goes on to related how storms are labeled and the significance of the categories they are given. She discusses some of the better known hurricanes before going on to show how they are forecast and tracked as they move toward the U.S. The book concludes with actions to take for an approaching hurricane and includes more hurricane facts. A small sidebar gives the national weather website to learn more.

The art is Gibbons’ typical bright, page-filled color done in a cartoon-like style. This book would be useful for a study of weather, during hurricane season, a storm unit, or before or after an actual hurricane. It’s interesting reading for young children and provides a great deal of easy-to-understand information.

For a limited time, Sylvan Dell has the e-book Ready, Set, Wait! available to read. It’s about what animals do before a hurricane and has activities at the back–something available in every Sylvan Dell book.


As a group, make a list of words from the book that talk about hurricanes, or use the list of words from the Holiday House worksheet. Have the students scramble the words and exchange papers. Then unscramble the vocabulary words.

Follow up with an illustrated picture dictionary of hurricane vocabulary words.

For educator information, try the NASA Earth Observatory site for more information about hurricanes form.

A link from the NASA site gives an explanation of hurricane anatomy with a diagram of a hurricane, explanation of the levels, and pictures of its power.

Roberta at Growing with Science has activites and vocabulary related to weather.

Amazon has the book available in paperback.

National Science Standard: weather and climate

Book provided by publisher for Librarian’s Choices review committee.


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