Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Raindrops on a Roller Coaster Hail

I was unfamiliar with the Bel the Weather Girl series so I decided to borrow Raindrops on a Roller Coaster: Hail (Bel the Weather Girl) from the library.

I like children's science picture books that tackle topics accurately, but make the topic accessible. That is a tough balance. There are a few series that have found the right balance, but others are either too technical or too simplified to be useful. While this is only the first book I've read in the series I thought it struck a good balance in providing accurate information about hail, how it's formed, the dangers of hail, and how it comes down to earth using accurate science, but making it approachable for young readers.

The story begins with Bel and her cousin Dylan outside playing when storm clouds darken the sky. As the daughter of a meteorologist, Bel is not afraid, but aware of the cautions she should take and escorts her cousin and the family dog into the house. The story continues with Bel educating her cousin about hail, introducing children to vocabulary and concepts associated with hail.

Along with finding a book that teaches about science, I also liked that it addressed the child Dylan's fears about hail. Weather events can be frightening to children and adults, but adults have more access to information to educate themselves about dangerous weather and how to cope with the challenges of it. When I had family with young kids living in tornado alley, I struggled to find books that would educate but also comfort the kids with information about what was happening, but also how to stay safe. I will be looking for other books in the series to see if the books are consistent across the series.

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