Simon, Seymour. 1999. TORNADOES. New York, NY: Morrow Junior Books. ISBN 0688146465
2. Plot Summary:
Seymour Simon once again captivates readers with his spectacular full-color photographs and gripping, informative text. Simon details how tornadoes are formed and the conditions and degrees of their power. Readers will learn how scientists classify and track tornadoes and where some of the most powerful ones in history have occurred. This book introduces readers of all ages to one of the most tremendous acts of nature.
3. Critical Analysis:
In his interesting and informative book, Seymour Simon introduces the reader to the power and destruction of one of nature’s most violent and spectacular phenomena, tornadoes. Students of all ages will be attracted to the large, full-color photos, showing an ominous sky, various kinds of tornadoes and their paths of devastation. In addition to the pictures, there are a few maps, graphs and diagrams to help clarify the reader’s understanding of the makeup of the storms and where they most likely form. The clear, well organized text describes the weather conditions necessary for tornadoes to form, when and where they most likely occur, and how scientists forecast, rate, and track them. Simon also includes common myths about tornadoes and unusual facts that are sure to entertain. “A tornado once sucked up a pond full of frogs and rained them down on a nearby town.” Adding a nice balance to the ferocity and devastation of the subject matter, Simon also gives tips on what to do if one finds themselves in a situation where a tornado might arise, “Go to the basement of a solidly built house. Staying under the stairs or a heavy table helps to protect you from crumbling walls.” Simon’s passion for weather phenomena will sweep the reader off their feet and leave them wanting more. Known as ‘the dean of the children’s science book field’, Seymour Simon has written more than 200 books, more than half of which have been honored with the Outstanding Trade Books for Children Award by the National Science Teachers Association.
4. Review Excerpts:
Outstanding Trade Books for Children 2000
Reviewed in SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. “Simon’s clear, well-organized text discusses the weather conditions necessary to spawn these violent storms; how they form; where they are most likely to occur; and how scientists predict, rate, and track them. He also describes some of the major tornadoes recorded in the U.S. and includes weather maps and a diagram. Make room on your shelves for Simon’s standout view of a cataclysmic manifestation”
Other books by Seymour Simon:
HURRICANES. ISBN 0-06-117072-0
LIGHTNING. ISBN 0-06-088435-5
WEATHER. ISBN 0-06-088439-8
*Compare other books about the weather written by Seymour Simon and look for similarities and differences.
*Look at other topics by Seymour Simon and make comparisons to how he approaches and showcases each.
Other related books:
Berger, Melvin. 2000. DO TORNADOES REALLY TWIST? ISBN 0-439-14880-4
Grace, Catherine O’Neill. 2004. FORCES OF NATURE: THE AWESOME POWER OF VOLCANOS, EARTHQUAKES AND TORNADOES ISBN 0-7922-6328-6
White, Matt. 2003. STORM CHASERS: ON THE TRAIL OF DEADLY TORNADOES ISBN 0-7368-9552-3
*Compare Simon’s book to the way tornadoes are discussed in the other books.
*Have students investigate storm trackers and find out what they do and how they predict where storms might occur.