(B) Ages 4-8, (C) Ages 8-10, (D) Ages 10-12, Nonfiction, Picture Books
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Look at the Weather by Britta Techentrup

This picture book for all ages encourages readers to “look at the weather” while learning the basic causes of it.

Look at the Weather by Britta Techentrup, translated and adapted by Shelly Tanaka.  Owl Kids Books (Canada), 2018 141 pages.

Reading Level: Picture book, ages 4-8

Recommended for: all ages

Sun, Rain, Snow and Ice, Storms—they affect everyone all the time, and yet how many of us take the time to actually look at the weather?  Using an expansive palette of earth and sky colors, the author/artist puts tiny people in a landscape dominated by what happens over their heads.  Drawing inspiration from landscape painters from the Renaissance to today, she settles on a suggestive, highly textured style that communicates emotion as well as fact.  There aren’t many words on each double-spread page, but few words pack plenty of information.  Though too long to read in one sitting, each of the four sections make a manageable unit.  Independent readers who browse will learn a lot, and may just heed the admonition to

Go outside.  Breathe in the fresh air.  Look at the weather.  What do you see?

The warnings about climate change at the end are not extensive enough to turn the book into a “message.”  Mostly it stimulates interest and admiration for something we take for granted until it inconveniences us.

Cautions: None

Overall rating: 4.5 (out of 5)

  • Worldview/moral value: 3.5
  • Artistic value: 5

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