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Elephant Wind (Mom's Choice Award Winner) Paperback – May 12, 2017
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What does a tornado look like? How does it sound? What causes a tornado? What should you do if you're in the midst of a tornado? Elephant Wind (Mom's Choice Award Winner) by Heather L Beal is an illustrated children's book that has all of the answers.This book was truly engaging and entertaining as Ms. Mandy and the children begin to deeply explore the phenomenon of tornadoes. What was great was how Ms. Mandy described the shape and sound of a tornado. The clever part was to give the children a more vivid image of a tornado by comparing it to an elephant’s trunk reaching downward from the sky. I saw this as a wonderful illustration. Ms. Mandy further provided the children with safety tips when experiencing a tornado. This is an excellent book for any child to read alone or to share with others. No one can be totally prepared, but this book answers so many questions that your child will ask about the wonders of tornadoes. Enjoy!
- Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite (5 Star Review)
Tummy Rumble Quake is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services.
Prepare to be blown away by Elephant Wind. This heartwarming book is full of delightful illustrations and important messages. Author Heather Beal shows adults how they can educate young children about hazards in an entertaining and non-frightening way. She also shines a bright light on the often overlooked capacity of children to learn and to contribute to their own recovery and to the broader community.
-Lori Peek, University of Colorado and Co-Author of Children of Katrina
"Elephant Wind" is a creatively illustrated juvenile story that is designed to teach children (ages three to eight) what to do if a tornado happens. One important aspect of "Elephant Wind" is that it presents the information in a cheery, colorful, nonthreatening format which is appealing and engaging to children. A childcare class of child-animals, including Lily and Niko Rabbit, arrives with their owl teacher, Ms. Mandy on a bus to attend a science fair. A warning siren sounds and the children are asked to follow Ms. Mandy to a tornado shelter. Calmly on their way to the tornado shelter, Ms. Mandy explains what a tornado looks like: a strong, twisty, funnel-shaped cloud. When the young animals do not understand, she explains the tornado shape is like an elephant trunk reaching from the sky to the ground. Further explanations and descriptions of tornado sounds follow, and Ms. Mandy explains the importance of immediately going somewhere safe, like a basement, when they hear a tornado warning. To help the children remember their safety tornado instructions, Ms. Mandy sings a song to them: "Elephant wind coming round, Get to the basement or below ground. Cover your head and before you know, It will blow over and you can go." Soon the school principal ( a wolf) appeared to tell the children the tornado was gone. Although no one was hurt, a neighbor's house was damaged. The animal children began to think of ways they could help the neighbors whose house was damaged to feel better, making treats, and cards, and telling them that they cared. "Elephant Wind" ends with tornado-related questions and activities from Lily and Niko Rabbit. "Elephant Wind" is a fine instruction manual for young children on proper tornado safety procedures, taught in a clear and nonthreatening way.
- The Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Heather was raised to give 100% to every endeavor. Since her earliest experiences in Girl Scouts, numerous volunteer events and organizations, she has always sought to make a difference. After graduating college, she served our country with 23 years of distinguished Naval service. Dedicated to self-improvement, she obtained masters degrees in Asian studies, conflict resolution, cyber security policy and emergency management while on active duty. She is qualified as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) with the International Association of Emergency Mangers. She is currently working on a PhD in Emergency Management with a special study focus on childcare recovery. As a working parent of two, she became aware of just how much of a gap existed in emergency preparedness and recovery training and resources for childcare providers and vowed to use her experiences, education, and more importantly, motivation, to help improve current limitations. In addition to publishing books to help teach children about what to do in case of disaster, she has also created a nonprofit, BLOCKS. BLOCKS' mission is to help prepare childcare for disaster. You can learn more about her nonprofit efforts at www.blocksusa.org. Please see www.train4safety.com to learn more about other books available to help prepare your little ones for disaster or to suggest areas we should focus on. Thank you for your support and enjoy the book!
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So the day care is having a field trip to a science fair and the local tornado siren goes off, the teacher rushes the kids to the shelter and then starts answering questions for the frightened kids. She calms them, tells them what's going on and how they (and their parents) can stay safe in the middle of a tornado. It's a great way to respond to a time like this and a great way to lure in the readers so they will absorb the same lessons.
Now, I'm not convinced that you're going to get kids living in an area that has the tornado shelters and sirens, etc. that are that old and not have some clue about what's going on (sure, maybe a couple of people who've just moved into the area, but not that many) -- but this book isn't trying to go for accuracy, it's trying to teach something. Like, say, about tornado shelters and sirens to kids so they know what they are before being taken to a shelter by their day care teacher. Basically, sure, it's a plot problem, but this book doesn't care about things like that.
Storywise, it's just different enough from Tummy Rumble Quake (well, this was actually published first, I guess, but I read them in this order. Still, technically, Tummy Rumble Quake is just different enough from this), which is a pretty tricky thing to pull off, but will keep some kids from tuning out -- it's not just a case of "here we go again." The ways to stay safe are clear, and will help minimize the fearfulness of the situation.
Again, on behalf of parents with little musical ability, some tips on how to sing this mnemonic song (a tune suggestion, perhaps), would be very helpful and welcome. The inclusion of the song is a great idea.
Sager's art did the job -- good use of colors and details, without overwhelming the reader and distracting them from the text. The tornado-elephant mashup pictures were an inspired choice -- one suggested by the text, no doubt, but the execution was spot-on.
A wonderful idea and I'm pretty sure a great help for those in areas where this is a lesson to be taught. I'd encourage parents and others to grab this one, too.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author.
~The Rebecca Review
I received one free book for review purposes.