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Volcano Wakes Up! Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 10, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2–4—Jenkins's cut-paper collages erupt with billowing gray clouds and rivers of lava, forming a frame to surround Peters's chirpy poems recording a day in the life of a busy young volcano. A small road sign warns, "don't expect to have a nice day," while a lava flow cricket celebrates being at a "HotLavaBBQ" and a fern "Eeeeee-yikes!" at a near miss from a lava bomb. This cheerful compilation is accompanied by two pages of factual information culled from the author's visit to the Big Island of Hawai'i. Sadly missing is a general description of just what a volcano is, and how it works. Still and all, this is a way to connect geology and poetry in an interdisciplinary curriculum.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Peters, a poet whose creative books on earth science include The Sun, the Wind, and the Rain (1988) and Earthshake: Poems from the Ground Up (2003), now imagines a day in the life of a volcano and its neighbors. The point of view shifts on each page or double-page spread, as the verse offers different forms and distinctive voices for the scrappy young volcano at the heart of the action, the party-loving ferns in its crevices, lava-flow crickets speaking in text-message phrases, the ever-changing paved road, and the sun and moon observing the scene. In the cut-paper collage illustrations, dramatic composition as well as varied hues and textures create visual interest even in scenes with no living characters. A two-page appended note comments on Hawaiian volcanoes, the ferns springing up in their crevices, the crickets living in cooled lava cracks, the frequently damaged roads, and the sight of lava flows into the ocean as the sun sets and the moon rises. An intriguing classroom read-aloud choice for many voices. Grades 2-4. --Carolyn Phelan
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Top customer reviews
What an awful, awful children's book. The only valuable piece of this book is the very end where facts are just straight up listed about volcanoes---but any Google search could turn up the same thing.
The method that Peters' used to convey said information (about volcanoes) was to give five different perspectives about the volcano to the reader. These including the volcano itself, a nearby fern plant, a cricket, the "small black road" going up to the volcano, and the sun/moon. The cricket speaks in "text talk" for example: "Hey, bro, where R U? I know it's early a.m. :-<." Although the reality of modern-day society is that children are, in fact, exposed to such talk at a young age, authors should not encourage this. Furthermore, the conversations between the sun and the moon are in no way understandable... The wording is poetic jargon to kids.
Children's Books are supposed to be fun, easy-to-read, easy-to-understand stories that provide useful and easily-understood information. "Volcano Wakes Up" fits none of these criteria.
My vote: don't buy this book.