A Meteorologist’s Guide to the Sky
Author:Liam Dutton, Geordano Poloni (illustrator)
Publisher: Templar books
Suggested age range: 9-12
Liam Dutton’s new 77 page book is a vibrant weather guide aimed at ‘budding weather presenters and meteorologists’. Rosie, aged 10, wrote:
“I enjoyed reading the Weather, Camera, Action book. I particularly liked learning about different air masses and how wind can bring different weathers to the UK.
If you want to learn about the weather and you are interested in it then I would definitely recommend this book to you, there are some great descriptions and facts in it. It explains climate change and pollution, teaches you about wavelengths and gas molecules and it also taught me that weather can be dangerous such as heat waves, dust storms and tornadoes.
Some younger children may find it difficult to understand because of the hard vocabulary but there are lots of great pictures and diagrams to help them access the book and the text is broken up into chunks, so overall I would recommend this book to older primary school children.”
Although it has an introductory ‘meet the author’ this is not a personal narrative about the weather Liam has experienced and reported. Rather, it takes a fairly standard reference book approach of breaking the book up into 34 two-page topics with a glossary at the end. Topics cover atmospheric features such as the jet stream, clouds, tornadoes, air pollution and sting jets as well as weather charts, forecasts and presenters. So, to be honest, the ‘camera, action!’ bit of the books title is a little lost.
As you’d expect from a book written by a meteorologist, the content is accurate and current with case studies ranging from the historical 1952 smog and 1987 storm to the 2019 European heat wave.
The format is visually appealing, content-rich and accessible without being cluttered or confusing.
It could be argued that, for a generation that is very unlikely to access weather forecasts on the TV, the book is missing information about using online and social media sources of information – there’s little in this book which couldn’t have been written 20 years ago. On a related note, the book takes the now fairly dated approach of tacking climate change on to the end as a bit of an afterthought –weather, climate and climate change are inexorably linked and I would have been happier seeing it integrated into the rest of the book.
This book should appeal to many young people and would be a good, solid addition to any primary school library.
This review has also been published in Weather.