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Hurricane! Library Binding – August 19, 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
A boy and his family witness an awe-inspiring storm in this exhilarating picture book account. The narrator and his brother begin the day like any other?they scramble down the cliff near their Puerto Rico home and go snorkeling. As they explore the coral reef, the boys don't know the weather has taken a turn for the worse. Once up for air, they see an ominous purple sky and quickly head for home. The family hastily grabs some belongings and gathers the dog, then drives through the wind and water to a nearby shelter. There they crowd together with neighbors and gently sing verses of "Silent Night" as the hurricane roars and crashes, threatening to collapse the building. The storm eventually passes and, happily, leaves little destruction in its wake. Based on London's (The Candystore Man, reviewed above) recollection of a childhood experience, this suspenseful tale has a "you are there" immediacy. Poetic descriptions of hammering winds, crashing waves and lightning which "scribbled on the dark clouds" eloquently capture the beauty and violence of severe weather. Sorensen's (I Love You as Much) slightly hazy oil paintings move suddenly from sunny island blues and greens to chillingly dark grays. Several changes of scenery demonstrate the artist's skill at depicting varying types of light and shadow, from soft morning sun to dim kerosene lamplight. The current popularity of weather topics-El Ni?o and natural disasters, especially-also makes this a timely volume. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Digital edition.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-The power, danger, and excitement of a hurricane are brought to life in this picture book set in Puerto Rico. A young boy tells the story, which begins as he and his brother go snorkeling in a calm sea on a sunny day. Suddenly they notice that the sky and air have changed dramatically. They race home, and the family packs up and heads for a shelter as the winds pick up, "pushing the waves into mountains" and thrashing the palm trees "in a wild dance." In the morning as the wind dies down, the family returns home and starts cleaning up the debris. The beautiful oil paintings convey every nuance of the weather system as well as the human emotions evoked by the experience. On the final page, the boys return to the calm sunny beach. The last sentence is a bit of a letdown after all the excitement-"The sparkle of sun on the water was brighter than ever"-and the beach looks amazingly free of debris for the day after a hurricane. Quibbles aside, the story beautifully evokes its mood and has a seamless blend of text and pictures. Pair it with David Wiesner's Hurricane (Clarion, 1990), which also depicts two brothers weathering a storm from a slightly different perspective, or with nonfiction such as Franklyn Branley's Hurricane Watch (HarperCollins, 1985).
Sue Norris, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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