One of the first things I do when planning a thematic unit is start searching for quality related books. Jeremy and I are both lovers of the written word and we are very glad our children have all seemed to have inherited this trait. A good portion of our school days are spent curled up on the couch reading and discussing books. Below is a list of some our favorite books from our weather unit.
1 - Bartholmew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss is a tale of a discontent king who makes the terrible mistake of demanding a new type of weather. Oobleck falls from the sky and threatens to destroy the kingdom. In the end the King learns the power of the simple words "I'm sorry". Written in classic Dr. Seuss style this book is a joy to read.
2 - Brave Irene by William Streg tells the story of a brave young girl who battles the snow and wind to deliver a dress for her sick dress-maker mother. Big Buddy particularly enjoyed this tale for the main character's determination and it's overall (mild) suspense.
3 - Rain by Robert Kalan & Donald Crews is in the same colorful graphics and simple texts as Crew's Caldecott honor book, Freight Train. This book is sure to delight all young children but is especially appropriate for toddlers.
4 - The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow - I loved the poetic prose of this book. That, combined with the gorgeous illustrations, told a beautiful story of how a storm effects the country, the city, and the sea.
5 - Umbrella by Taro Yashima is a Caldecott honor book that tells the story of a young Japanese girl who anxiously awaits the chance to use her new umbrella.
6 - Thunder Cake by Patrica Palocco is the tale of a grandmother who helps her granddaughter overcome her fear of thunderstorms by keeping her busy preparing a special cake.
7 - Come Rain Come by Karen Hesse has enchanting watercolor illustrations that accompany a sweet tale of a young girl and her city neighbors anxiously awaiting a summer rain. The ending of this book is sure to bring a smile to your and your children's faces.
8 - Little Cloud by Eric Carle has classic Carle illustrations which make this book a great a introduction to clouds.
9 - The Rain Came Down by David Shannon - a silly story, of how a rain storm creates chaos in a community, will have you and your kids in giggles.
10 - Heat Wave by Eileen Spinelli is set in a time before air conditioners where the townspeople come up with many clever ways to beat the heat. This is a favorite of my kids; they love to examine the colorful pictures and delight in the happy ending.
1- Arty Fact Weather & Art Activities by Janet Sacks was a very fun library find. It's is full of weather themed art activities that can be adapted for a variety of ages; you can read about one of the activities we tried here. Included with each activity is a page of related facts. This book is part of a collection and I'll defintely be looking for the others as we explore more themes.
2 - Oh Say Can you Say What's the Weather Today by Tish Rabe The Cat in the the Hat's Learning Library is a great way to introduce non-fiction to young children. The rhythmic text makes facts a joy to listen to and the colorful and sometimes silly illustrations grab children's interest.
3 - Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Franklyn M. Branley has bright watercolor illustartions and text that are detailed yet simple for young children to understand, which made this book a favorite of my boys.
4 - It's Cloudy Today by Kristin Sterling - this book is part of Lighting Bolt Books What's the Weather Like series. We enjoyed them for their colorful photographs and the more obscure facts they offered - like who came up with the names for different types of clouds
5 - The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola - in addition to dePaola's charming illustrations this book was a weather unit must-read for us because of it's inclusion of some myths surrounding cloud shapes.
6 - The Drop Goes Plop by Sam Godwin is about a mother bird and her baby that follow a water droplet as it falls from a cloud and then is eventually evaporated up again. A great first introduction to the water cycle.
7 - Weather by Simon Seymour - Mr. Seymour is a great place to start when looking for quality children's nonfiction books; his photographs are breathtaking. There is a lot of information packed into this book so, for young children, it may be more easily absorbed in bits, rather than reading it all in one sitting.
8 - Down Comes the Rain by Franklin Branley is another great resource for introducing the water cycle to young children. It's written for early readers so the text is very easy to follow and comprehend.
9 - Weather Words and What the Mean by Gail Gibbons - Ms. Gibbons is another go-to author for children's nonfiction. This book does a great job of making complex weather concepts relatable and understandable to children. My children also enjoyed her simple yet colorful illustrations. The only think I do like about this book is that she uses the sentence "Thunderstorms are scary!" to introduce the section on thunder and lighting. While thunderstorms can be dangerous and children need to be taught how to stay safe, I do not think they should be told to fear things.
10 - On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer - from the Arctic to Africa, this book offers a glimpse at weather (and cultures) around the globe.