Today's reading report is in and the forecast is fabulous!
It's our turn on the tornado-like tour for Meet the Weather by Caryl Hart and Bethan Woollvin, published by Bloomsbury on Thursday, March 2 (which is also World Book Day).
Get ready for some meteorological magic as the third in the 'Meet the...' series might just be the most spectacular yet! Explore the world by hot-air balloon, taking in a variety of climatic conditions, as Meet the Weather brilliantly brings the elements to life.
There are so many reasons to love Meet the Weather (including the eye-catching endpapers alone) but here are our top 10...
1. It's so full of energy With an invigorating rhyming text, saturated with sound words, and a whirlwind of vibrant, striking artwork, this book blazes like a bolt of lightning. It's ideal for getting little people interested in science and reading, and the perfect complement to home or school learning.
2. It's incredibly relatable
We encounter a broad range of settings and landscapes so all children will see a place that looks like home. And because the main character is neither explicitly male or female, nor of any discernible ethnic origin, all children will be able to place themselves in the narrative.
3. It's educational as well as entertaining
Meet the Weather helps little readers make sense of the world and teaches them about their surroundings in a gentle and engaging, child-friendly way.
4. It takes the fear out of weather
Thunder, lightning and even heavy rain can be scary for small people. By explaining what causes changes in the weather, and bestowing each element with a friendly and approachable persona, children will become familiar with, and unafraid of, all that the atmosphere has to offer.
5. The lyrical language We are huge fans of Caryl Hart's picture books, especially the ones that rhyme, and have long admired her skill with language. With shimmering sunshine and feathery, fluffy snow, this feels even more evocative and poetic than Caryl's previous stories.
6. The distinct personalities of all the elements
This is something that's impressed me about every book in the series but I absolutely LOVE how each type of weather has such a strong presence and distinct identity. You can hear their different voices as they speak. I keep imagining Snow as sounding like Joanna Lumley while Sunshine reminds me of Jamie Oliver!
7. It involves a hot-air balloon journey
When I was a kid, this was my dream mode of transport but unfortunately, I never have been in a hot-air balloon and my adult-onset phobia of improbable disasters probably means I never will. One of my earliest memories is seeing a hot air balloon race pass through my town, and I was obsessed with them when I was younger. They're exciting, symbolic of adventure and can take the imaginations of little ones soaring, but you rarely see them in books these days.
8. The "Wizard of Oz" vibes
Not sure if these are intentional but anything that makes me think of Judy Garland is a winner as far as I'm concerned. The first thing that made me think of Oz was the hot air balloon that I've already mentioned but in the spread featuring the Tornado, there's a twister worthy of whisking Miss Gulch away. We spotted a bicycle that might even have belonged to her and the house reminded us of Dorothy's Kansas home too.
9. The illustrations
Just like the powerful gusts of wind featured within its pages, this book's artwork will blow you away. As with all books illustrated by Bethan Woollvin, there are lots of fun and cosy details. I love the matching waterproof gear that the main protagonist and her pet wear, and the cloud pyjamas at the end.
My youngest's favourite page is the one with all the clouds; she loves the duck cloud. She also finds the tornado spread hilarious, especially the upside-down flying cow, how the little dog almost blows away (she was very relieved to see that in the next scene, his rain hat was not lost), the bird losing its feathers and was perhaps most amused by the underwear blowing in the wind. We adore all the cute creatures we meet along the way and there was an audible gasp when the five-year-old spotted the rainbow's elusive pot of gold.
10. The weather chart at the end
This is genius! It offers lots of opportunities for further weather-related conversations. We have enjoyed bedtime discussions about all the different weather conditions we've encountered each day (and as we live in Ireland, there are often several). The kids have had fun predicting tomorrow's weather as well. This would make a fantastic wall chart for a bedroom, playroom or school too - or inspiration for little people to make their own.
So there you are, just a few reasons why Meet the Weather is a phenomenal picture book. But don't take our word for it - visit all of the below stops to learn more about this brilliant read, and get hold of a copy to see for yourself!
Meet the Weather is published on Thursday, March 2 - see this book on the Bloomsbury website Thanks so much to the amazing Caryl Hart the lovely people in Bloomsbury for sharing this book with us. All opinions expressed are our own.