Review Blog

Nov 10 2020

Australia's wild weird wonderful weather by Stephanie Owen Reeder

cover image

Illus. by Tania McCartney. National Library of Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9780642279637.
(Age: 8+). Highly recommended. This is a beautifully presented and informative non-fiction book which highlights Australia's vastly different weather patterns across our huge country. The contents page focuses on seven main areas:
1. Seasonal weather
2. Precipitation
3. Sound, Light, Movement
4. Disastrous Weather
5. Weather Forecasting
6. Climate Change
7. Researching Weather
Within each of these chapters are three main topics presented on a double page spread. The text is of a very readable size and relates to the visual images; charts, maps, illustrations and diagrams located close by. After the introduction of What is Weather?, the book moves on to Bush Forecasting which concentrates on how well Indigenous Peoples have managed and adapted to living on the land for thousands of years. Cloud formations, lightning, rain, heat, wind, weather disasters and extreme weather are some of the topics covered. The chapter on weather forecasting begins with animal antics. The behaviour of some animals is said to predict the weather e.g. sheep huddle together for protection when a storm is coming, making a big woolly blanket. Some farmers say, 'When sheep gather together in a huddle, tomorrow we'll have a puddle.' There are chapters on reading and measuring the weather plus a section dedicated to climate change. Exploring the Weather is the final section of the book and it gives an historical perspective with interesting facts as well as photographs from the National Library of Australia''s own collection which incidentally provided the information throughout the book. At the end of the book is a detailed glossary of weather words, a list of weather resources plus a comprehensive index. This book will be a valuable addition to any school, public library or home.
There is further information about the book on the NLA blog, as well as an entertaining book trailer and Scholastic's Teaching notes. Themes: Australia, Weather, Indigenous knowledge, Climate change.
Kathryn Beilby

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