Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Arthur's Dream Boat" by Polly Dunbar

ISBN:  9780763658670
When you first pick up this children's picture book, you are immediately impressed with the soft, intuitively gentle art that is done using various mediums.  The colors speak loudly of dreamy, amazing, childhood - blues, reds, greens basic browns and black but overtly soft.
When Arthur awakens, he has had a dream of a small boat it is green and pink and has a sail.  No one listens when he tells of his amazing dream.  He keeps on trying to gain their attention, but they are so busy and are not listening to him.  Yet on his head is perched the boat from his dream and it is amazing.  It keeps getting added to - polka dots on the sail, stripes on the mast, a gold flag, a figurehead. And it is growing!
Arthur shouts, "Listen to me," and at that time, Arthur and the sea catch their attention. 
This is a dreamy tale of exaggeration and of a boy who has a dream and whose telling of the dream grows with the telling.  The lively and whimsical illustrations are a delight to behold and tell the story from start to finish with beauty and boldness.  Though the art is bold, it is also soft like a child and will appeal wonderfully to the child in your life as you read about Arthur's amazing dream!

"It's Raining Fish and Spiders" by Bill Evans

My thoughts on the book:  As a meteorologist himself, Bill Evans, has a contagious enthusiasm for his venue and a love for kids - especially middle-schoolers - that spills over in his desire to teach and enthuse these kids with his own love for his specialty - the weather!

It's Raining Fish and Spiders is a treatise into the world of tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, droughts that will capture the attention of the most bored, uninterested, "I couldn't care less," middle-schooler. In fact, Bill Evans created this creative book for these kids because he wants them to understand and love the weather just as he does.  And, did I say, he loves the kids?

There is a bit about Mr. Evans and how he got his own start in broadcasting advancing to meteorologist for Eyewitness News on ABC in NYC.  There are adventures as he has been experiencing "the weather" at it's most interesting.

The "lessons" are presented as kid type questions or ponderings. "How are Tornados Born?" "What Makes a Snowstorm a Blizzard?" "Dude, Take It from 'Tommy Tsunami,' You Do Not Want to Catch That Wave!"  Kind-of get the picture now?  Yea!  It is written to entice kids.  They will have fun learning.

Experiments?  Yes, there are some in the "Try This at Home" featured at the end of the specific sections.

This book will be great as an addition for the classroom, the school library, the kid's shelf at home, for home-schoolers, and even for the average grown-up who wants to learn more about all that swirling, whirling, chilling, wet stuff we call "the weather." 

About the Book:  One of the things Bill Evans enjoys the most is talking to young people about weather. Middle-schoolers in particular, Evans says, are deeply interested in the natural world and in weather.

It’s Raining Fish and Spiders covers everything, from tornadoes and hurricanes to lightning and the different kinds of snowflakes. Evans addresses weather myths and facts, from “Can it really rain fish?” to “Will opening a window save my house during a tornado?”

Evans also tells his most exciting personal weather stories: flying with the Hurricane Hunters, riding pell-mell through Tornado Alley with storm chasers, and visiting the coldest place on Earth. The book includes simple weather experiments that can be performed at home without expensive equipment.

Extensively researched, fact-filled, and packed with charts, tables, illustrations, and amazing photographs, It’s Raining Fish and Spiders is an entertaining and educational addition to the library of anyone interested in weather, science, and the natural world.


About the author:  Bill Evans is a New York Times Bestselling author.   Bill Evans is a multiple Emmy Award-winning, nationally-renowned senior meteorologist. He has appeared on Good Morning America and Live! with Regis and Kelly. Evans has received the Outstanding Meteorologist Award from the National Weather Service and has hosted the National Hurricane Conference. Bill Evans and his family live in Connecticut.

Disclosure:  I was provided an autographed copy of It's Raining fish and Spiders to present to the middle-school students at Alamance Christian School for their learning enjoyment and enrichment.  I was not required to write a review or render a positive opinion.