Look at the Weather
Look at the Weather
The evening sky, now that’s something to see. The setting sun spreads its golden light over the ground. Like syrup? Like fire? When you close your eyes, can you still feel the sun’s light?
We experience weather in its various temperaments every day. Its impact affects what we do and how we do it, what we eat and how much it costs, our architecture, our moods, our work and our play. Author Britta Teckentrup approaches all of these issues mindfully in Look at the Weather. Her conversation about weather encourages the reader to take a moment to reflect on how weather affects our everyday lives, rather than taking it for granted. The beauty of weather in nature is described brilliantly through the author’s words and artwork. The writing style in this book is contemplative and peaceful which develops into an ode to the natural world.
The book begins with a general introduction wherein the author makes a personal connection for the reader by introducing the idea of weather belonging to us all. Her reflections consider the temperaments of weather from romantic and wistful to ferocious, and everything in between. She also ponders how each of us experiences different kinds of weather by asking readers questions such as what they would do when caught in a rainstorm – seek shelter or jump and play in the puddles. Look at the Weather is a work that causes readers to interact by considering their answers.
Look at the Weather is divided into four chapters – sun, rain, ice and snow, and extreme weather. Each chapter discusses the elements using scientific explanations blended with folklore and storytelling. The scientific explanations are leveled for young children and are easy to understand. The mix of folklore adds a storytelling feature illustrating, for example, why we’ll never find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Perhaps to the relief of many parents, this book answers the age-old question of why the sky is blue. Conversation is encouraged as children are asked to think about and look at nature by answering questions put to them, such as what is their favorite shade of blue, or by describing what figures they see in the clouds up in the sky. All of the senses are touched upon to experience nature, such as the fresh smell after a summer’s rain, feeling the warmth of the sun, or listening to what earth sounds like when it awakens in the morning.
Each chapter easily leads into the next. Teckentrup’s description of how a sunny day becomes muggy weather brings readers to the next chapter where the rain is falling. The descriptions draw lovely images of grey veiled rain to gently falling snowflakes. Readers see how nature and people interact with weather by enjoying the freshness and playing
Teckentrup’s description of extreme weather is simple and clear where she writes: “Someone turned up the volume on our regular weather.” The issue of climate change is introduced with respect to the effects of long term weather issues.
The beautiful grey washed paintings in Look at the Weather evoke a sense of peace and reflect the vastness of Earth. Teckentrup gives credit to the painters of the impressionist period for influencing the style of painting in this book.
Includes a glossary of terms.
Tamara Opar is Youth Services Head Librarian at Millennium Library in Winnipeg. MB.