Title: Hurricane Day
Author: Dee Nicholls
Publication Date: April 21, 2013
Publisher: Featherweight Press
Number of pages: 26
Recommended age: 5 to 10 (read-aloud)
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Hurricane Day is more than a story about a hurricane. It explores the hectic pace of the modern-day family. Jimmy and his family are always in a hurry, always rushing from one activity to the next. However, when they find out there is a hurricane headed straight for them, Jimmy’s parents must slow down and take the time to reassure him that everything will be all right. They take a break from the rat race to answer all of his questions, as they prepare for the hurricane.
My Thoughts: I’d like to begin by giving a bit of background about this book. When the author contacted me initially she told me that she wrote this book for her son to answer his questions and alleviate some of his fears after Hurricane Irene hit Long Island. This short chapter book does exactly that. Hurricane Day is indeed set in Long Island and introduces us to Jimmy and his family just as they learn that a hurricane is coming up the coast. The book describes how the family prepares for the coming storm by stocking up on supplies and planning for how they will hunker down in their home safely riding out the storm.
I really appreciate how the author includes tidbits of information about hurricanes including the strength of the wind, how hurricanes are categorized and named, and some of the terminology associated with hurricanes (e.g., “the eye”, “aftermath”). I think sharing this kind of information with children will absolutely help alleviate their fears. There is power in knowledge. On the flip side, the author does a great job of describing some of the emotions experienced by Jimmy including fear. I loved how the family acknowledged and validated his fears, but also helped alleviate them by providing important information and by putting the storm into perspective. It was well done.
My only complaint about the book is the format. The book is very short with only 26 pages and five chapters. There are only a few images and my kids would have liked to see more. I think the presentation could have been improved with many illustrations, or maybe with the inclusion of real photos and even “boxes” with information or statistics. I’m a bit stumped as to who the target audience is because it is a very short book with few illustrations. I would encourage the author to keep working at the book and to consider re-formatting it with more breaks in the text using illustrations.
My Bottom Line: Hurricane Day is a great resource for children aged 5 to 10 (and their families) who have or may directly experience a hurricane storm in their area. The book provides important information about hurricanes presented in a kid-friendly manner and discusses some of the emotions that may be experienced by children. This is a short read which could use a few more illustrations to help break the text and keep the reader’s attention.
* This book was provided by us free-of-charge by the author in exchange for our honest opinion. All opinions expressed are our own. *
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