Review Blog

Mar 06 2013

The pocket book of weather: Entertaining and remarkable facts about the weather by Michael Bright

cover image

Bloomsbury, London, 2013. 144 p. Hardback.
(Age: 10-15) This small book is a classic 'pocket' encyclopaedia, which dips into many weather topics, concepts and issues. It is not a dictionary and therefore not organised in alphabetical order. Rather it is organised in 10 themed chapters eg Clouds and fog, Hail and snow, Thunder and lightning. The final chapters The energy of weather and Global weather change touch on our weather-related environmental concerns and it is encouraging to see these chapters included in a 'pocket' publication.
Michael Bright is a prolific author of books about the natural world. His writing is clear and concise and reflects his vast experience in this genre. The design and layout have been well thought out with significant use of sub-headings, different font sizes and italics. Included are Contents, Index (comprehensive), Picture credits and Websites (for further research).
There are many colour photographs as well as diagrams and tables. Also included are gold Fact boxes with fascinating weather snippets eg 'On 15 August 1291, a typhoon moving across the Sea of Japan destroyed an entire Mongol invasion fleet. It became known as the 'Divine Wind' or 'Kamikaze'.' (p. 89). There are some Australian examples of extreme weather eg Cyclone John (North-west WA) 1999, Brisbane flood 1974, Marble Bar heatwave 1923-24. However, the book has been published with the British and US market in mind with many US references and examples, in particular.
This is not an in depth resource. However, it would be useful for beginning research, choosing a weather topic, understanding basic weather concepts or simply browsing through a multitude of fascinating weather facts. The book is strongly bound with an attractive cover, which makes it very appropriate for a Middle School library with students aged 10-15 years.
M. E. Strickland

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