I’m ever so slightly obsessed by the weather and so when Abi Walton got in touch from DK Books to see if I’d like a copy of Fraser and Judith Ralston’s children’s book, What’s the Weather?, in return for an honest review, I couldn’t resist, despite my attempts not to take on new blog materials!
Published by DK on 7th January 2021, What’s the Weather? is available for pre-order through the links here.
What’s the Weather?
See how snowflakes and lightning storms form and learn the real effects of climate change in this kids book about weather.
At a time when extreme weather is becoming more and more common, get clued up on the science behind it and the ways in which it’s changing. Learn about all kinds of weather and marvel at how powerful it can be. Discover what the weather was like when the Earth was born and what it could be like in the future. Find out how weather is predicted and the inventions that harness its power.
This eco-focussed book is packed with facts and illustrations showing how weather forms, the ways in which it changes over time, and how we can use its power.
My Review of What’s the Weather?
A children’s book covering everything from clouds to climate change.
I always like to comment on the physical attributes of children’s books because they often have to cope with more enthusiastic handling than do books for older readers, and What’s the Weather? is brilliant. Not only does it have an incredibly robust and durable cover that would withstand much use in the home or school, it is made from responsibly sourced materials and soy inks so that it models the very climate aware elements it refers to. Internal pages are smooth to the touch, thick and have a feeling of quality. There are photographs, cartoon style drawings, charts and vibrant colours alongside quite substantial text so that What’s the Weather? provides many hours of interest and entertainment for children of all ages but especially, I think, to those in KS2. I very much appreciate that there are two versions of this book too. One has UK English references like Autumn and the other has American references like Fall.
There’s a good balance of text to image so that visual learners have much to engage them, whilst there is depth and detail for those more secure in their reading. I thoroughly appreciated the fact that language isn’t dumbed down or patronising so that children can learn the correct terms like ‘crepuscular rays’. There’s a helpful glossary at the end and the index means What’s the Weather? could be a highly useful school library book as well as a book to stimulate interest and curiosity in the home.
What’s the Weather? is packed full of interest for readers of all ages. For example, I never really considered the different terms for snowflake structures before, so that I have learnt from reading this book too, despite being half a century older than its target audience. Indeed, alongside the weather elements, there are many opportunities for further use such as geographical investigation of Capracotta in Italy, or history such as when the Thames froze. Equally, children will love reading about frogs falling from the sky and the other quirky elements peppered amongst the pages. I very much liked the manner with which the climate awareness was presented with some simple ways we can all contribute to slowing the rate of global warming.
What’s the Weather? is written with accessible and authoritative attention to detail that makes it interesting, engaging and entertaining. It’s a book that offers a great deal to young readers.
About Fraser and Judith Ralston
Judith Ralston has been a BBC weather presenter since 2002, and is a well-known news personality with over 27,000 followers on Twitter. In 2017, she was voted the UK’s third most popular weather presenter, in a poll by the Radio Times. Judith lives in Scotland with her husband Fraser Ralston, a
chartered meteorologist. Fraser’s 35-year career in meteorology has included visiting and studying the extreme weather in Antarctica.
You’ll find Judith on Twitter @JudithRalston.