18 Story Books on Weather for Kids

Oprn Drdsmr: Kid Lit Musings and Review by Cheli Mennella

Reading the Wild Weather
Story Books for Kids

There’s a riotous energy this time of year: the mad leafing out of plants and trees, crazy bird song at dawn, unruly swarms of biting insects, the palpable freedom of school letting out for summer, and wild weather that can change from snow squalls to thunderstorms within hours. Those first spring storms are greeted with a mixture of excitement and nervousness in our home. Thunder and lightning, rain and wind, are full of edgy juxtapositions, scary and beautiful, exciting and terrifying, exquisite and destructive.

Nature’s power is clearly evident in weather phenomena, and often seems mysterious. But many weather events can be explained in scientific terms, and when packaged with pictures into the safe covers of a book, help kids understand the wild weather that impacts our lives.  Here’s a collection of kids’ books, mostly about riotous forms of stormy weather. I’ve included a short selection of nonfiction titles and a few picture books, starting with brand new work by award wining children’s book creator, Arthur Geisert…

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HFVS Weather Episode with Guest DJ, Alison Faith Levy (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:


WEATHER EPISODE
GUEST DJ, ALISON FAITH LEVY

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “World of Wonder,” the title track from Alison Faith Levy’s debut album for children World of Wondera paean to the natural world and all its mystery. Animated by filmmaker Danny Plotnick.


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PLAYLIST

  • Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky” – [Out of the Blue]
  • Grateful Dead – “Box of Rain” [American Beauty]
  • Allen Clapp – “Scattered Showers” [One Hundred Percent Chance of Rain]
  • Alison Faith Levy – “I Love the Rain” [World of Wonder]
  • The Velvet Underground – “Who Loves the Sun” [Loaded]
  • The Hollies – “Everything is Sunshine” [The Hollies: Epic Anthology]
  • XTC – “Ballet for a Rainy Day” [Skylarking]
  • Jimi Hendrix – “The Wind Cries Mary” [The Ultimate Experience]
  • Beach Boys – “Wind Chimes” [Smile Sessions]
  • Allen Clapp & His Orchestra – “If the Wind is Right” [Mixed Greens]
  • The Three O’Clock – “When Lightning Starts” [Sixteen Tambourines]
  • Led Zeppelin – “The Rain Song” [Houses of the Holy]
  • Neko Case – “This Tornado Loves You” [Middle Cyclone]
  • Alison Faith Levy – “Eye of the Tornado” [World of Wonder]
  • Etta James – “Stormy Weather” [At Last]
  • The Beatles – “Good Day Sunshine” [Revolver]
  • The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun” [Abbey Road]
  • The Beatles – “Sun King” [Abbey Road]
  • Autumn Leaves – “Stars in the Snow” [The Twilight Hours of the Autumn Leaves]
  • The Sippy Cups – “Drinking from the Sky” [Electric Storyland]
  • The Jayhawks – “Save It For a Rainy Day” [Rainy Day Music]
  • The Kinks – “Waterloo Sunset” [Something Else by The Kinks]

ABOUT ALISON FAITH LEVY

Alison Faith Levy

Alison Faith Levy, the songwriter behind such Sippy Cups hits as “Magic Toast,” “The Jellyfish,” “Move Your Pants” and “One Day Soon,” returns to making music for kids with a stunning solo album, World of Wonder.

After spending five years criss-crossing the country with the psychedelic rock n’ roll circus for kids that was The Sippy Cups, performing in such venues such as Symphony Space in NYC, Lollapalooza, House of Blues, Central Park Summerstage and Austin City Limits, Alison Faith Levy took a break from performing for children and found success with her “grown-up” Americana band, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, with songwriting partner Victor Krummenacher (of Camper Van Beethoven). They performed with the likes of Rosanne Cash, Cracker, and Built to Spill, and released an acclaimed album  Time for Leaving.

Alison missed performing for children, however, and started up a music time at a local bookstore. She began writing new songs for the kids, and word spread quickly. Within a few months the place was packed to the rafters every week and she started putting a band together and booking performances at libraries, museums, music venues and outdoor festivals.  She enlisted the help of her friend, songwriter and bandleader of lush indie popsters The Orange Peels — producer Allen Clapp. Together they took the new batch of songs and crafted their perfect pop album, playing practically every instrument on the album themselves and mining their collective encyclopedic knowledge of pop music for production touchstones. – www.alisonfaithlevy.com

Citizen Scientist Wanted: Cloud Watch for NASA

Cloud Rover Observers Wanted
As Citizen Scientists

Tracking clouds is a great way for kids to learn about meteorology!  Watch the skies from home and anywhere else you adventure to this summer, and compare changes in conditions based on your location!  (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

What shapes do you see in the clouds?  There may be rabbits, eggs, vines, airplanes, and shoes… and no matter what you see in the sky, NASA wants to hear about it!  The organization’s S’COOL program uses data provided by Citizen Scientists, as well as official weather reports, to track cloud cover across the country.

By collecting data on the type of clouds, height they are at, thickness of cover, and related weather conditions, NASA is able to work to create a more comprehensive understanding of the earth as a system.

Scientists use submitted data to track patterns in weather and atmospheric conditions, which then contributes to their understanding of the atmosphere as a whole.

Kids can contribute their observations on the project’s website, science-edu.larc.nasa.gov. Participants, called Rover Observers, can set up a schedule of times to submit observations or send information periodically as it is gathered – students can use the site as a tool to help them track weather patterns in their community over a long period of time, or just spend a few days tracking clouds and share what they noticed.

Before heading out, show your kids/students this video from NASA to learn how clouds are formed.  In this video, watch an experiment to make a cloud using liquid nitrogen, and find out how scientists classify clouds according to their altitude and how clouds reflect and absorb light, giving them different colors:

HFVS Music from South Africa with Guest DJ, Debbie Lan (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:



MUSIC FROM SOUTH AFRICA EPISODE
GUEST DJ, DEBBIE LAN OF GRENADILLA

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
May 19th & 20th, 2012
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “Re Ya Dumedisa” (“We Wish You Well”) by Mahlathini & The Mahotella Queens, accompanied By The Makgona Tsohle Band.


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PLAYLIST

  • Spokes Mashiyane – “Chobolo” [King Kwela]
  • Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens – “Jive Motella” [The Best of Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens.]
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo – “Hello my baby” [Favorites]
  • Doris Brasch – “Brave Brave Mouse” [Pollywiggle]
  • Jimmy Rayson – “The Lonely Croc” [Pollywiggle]
  • Grenadilla – “Exactly where I want to be” [Can’t Wait]
  • Soweto String Quartet – “Mbayi Mbayi’ [Zebra Crossing]
  • Miriam Makeba – “The Click Song” [Pata Pata]
  • Amompondo – “Nomabongo” [A Nation in Song]
  • Mafikozolo – “Kwela Kwela” [Kwela]
  • Grenadilla – “Oh Sing a Song to the Sun” [Can’t Wait]
  • Mango Groove – “Pennywhistle” [Jazz offerings from South Africa]
  • Grenadilla – “Can’t Wait” [Can’t Wait]
  • Big Voice Jack – “ Kgaitsegi Rebecca” [South African Jazz]
  • African Cream Freedom Chior – “Jabula” [A Nation in Song]
  • Spokes Mashiyane – “Sheshisa’ [King Kwela]
  • The Mahotella Queens – “Sibuye” [The Best of The Mahotella Queens]
  • Grenadilla – “Sitting on Top of the World” [Can’t Wait]

Visit Debbie and Grenadilla at www.grenadillasings.com.

HFVS Weather Episode with Guest DJ, Alison Faith Levy (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:


WEATHER EPISODE
GUEST DJ, ALISON FAITH LEVY

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Originally Aired on May 12th & 13th, 2012
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: “World of Wonder,” the title track from Alison Faith Levy’s debut album for children World of Wondera paean to the natural world and all its mystery. Animated by filmmaker Danny Plotnick.


New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky” – [Out of the Blue]
  • Grateful Dead – “Box of Rain” [American Beauty]
  • Allen Clapp – “Scattered Showers” [One Hundred Percent Chance of Rain]
  • Alison Faith Levy – “I Love the Rain” [World of Wonder]
  • The Velvet Underground – “Who Loves the Sun” [Loaded]
  • The Hollies – “Everything is Sunshine” [The Hollies: Epic Anthology]
  • XTC – “Ballet for a Rainy Day” [Skylarking]
  • Jimi Hendrix – “The Wind Cries Mary” [The Ultimate Experience]
  • Beach Boys – “Wind Chimes” [Smile Sessions]
  • Allen Clapp & His Orchestra – “If the Wind is Right” [Mixed Greens]
  • The Three O’Clock – “When Lightning Starts” [Sixteen Tambourines]
  • Led Zeppelin – “The Rain Song” [Houses of the Holy]
  • Neko Case – “This Tornado Loves You” [Middle Cyclone]
  • Alison Faith Levy – “Eye of the Tornado” [World of Wonder]
  • Etta James – “Stormy Weather” [At Last]
  • The Beatles – “Good Day Sunshine” [Revolver]
  • The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun” [Abbey Road]
  • The Beatles – “Sun King” [Abbey Road]
  • Autumn Leaves – “Stars in the Snow” [The Twilight Hours of the Autumn Leaves]
  • The Sippy Cups – “Drinking from the Sky” [Electric Storyland]
  • The Jayhawks – “Save It For a Rainy Day” [Rainy Day Music]
  • The Kinks – “Waterloo Sunset” [Something Else by The Kinks]

ABOUT ALISON FAITH LEVY

Alison Faith Levy

Alison Faith Levy, the songwriter behind such Sippy Cups hits as “Magic Toast,” “The Jellyfish,” “Move Your Pants” and “One Day Soon,” returns to making music for kids with a stunning solo album, World of Wonder.

After spending five years criss-crossing the country with the psychedelic rock n’ roll circus for kids that was The Sippy Cups, performing in such venues such as Symphony Space in NYC, Lollapalooza, House of Blues, Central Park Summerstage and Austin City Limits, Alison Faith Levy took a break from performing for children and found success with her “grown-up” Americana band, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, with songwriting partner Victor Krummenacher (of Camper Van Beethoven). They performed with the likes of Rosanne Cash, Cracker, and Built to Spill, and released an acclaimed album  Time for Leaving.

Alison missed performing for children, however, and started up a music time at a local bookstore. She began writing new songs for the kids, and word spread quickly. Within a few months the place was packed to the rafters every week and she started putting a band together and booking performances at libraries, museums, music venues and outdoor festivals.  She enlisted the help of her friend, songwriter and bandleader of lush indie popsters The Orange Peels — producer Allen Clapp. Together they took the new batch of songs and crafted their perfect pop album, playing practically every instrument on the album themselves and mining their collective encyclopedic knowledge of pop music for production touchstones. – www.alisonfaithlevy.com

Western MA ❥ Weather

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 5, Weather

(Photo credit: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser)

❥ I wrote myself a note about the next Mash Note a few weeks ago. I put down one word: weather. My thought process went I should write about my reverence for the seasons while the weather’s still nice. Because frankly, I can’t really abide by winter, since I don’t enjoy feeling cold. And still…

Having lived around here for the bulk of 30 years (!) I realize that while I really don’t live here for the weather, I do appreciate it. Why? The way seasons wrap themselves around the year marks time. It’s rings around trees in plain sight and stored into sensory memory. It’s the pleasure of being surprised each and every autumn by the leaves’ gem colors. It’s tastes and smells and even (sigh) the sense of relief when the snow melts and the sidewalks widen again.

Seasons bring the bittersweet and the sweet of life to the fore. While I’m not sure I’d miss them if I lived in a more monolithic climate, I have used them to train myself to appreciate what is. I am told that being happy in the moment, any moment, is really a good thing.

❥ Now I had this thought before the wild weather week that marked the tail end of August and beginning of September this year. Who would like a deadly, damaging tropical storm? No one could, obviously. And in a way, that’s why I decided to stick to my original idea; I wanted to add that climate change threatens these basic cycles and throws in more quote-unquote natural disasters and with every storm of the century, we should redouble our efforts to push for greater accountability to environment from our leaders, our corporations, and our communities.

From Green Teams in our schools to kids learning about recycling from toddlerhood to groups like Grow Food Northampton working to ensure 120 acres of farmland remain farmland to organizations like CISA supporting the local farm movement and local farmers to staunch protests against Vermont Yankee on out, this bit of paradise lives its values. And that’s another reason I love it here.

When the storm submerged a field at our CSA it was another lesson in how important weather—and the climate change holding steadier rather than progressing—really is. The farmers’ lessons are by extension the shareholders’ lessons and another call to activism and rethinking our ways in the world.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

And to think it happened at Elmer’s!

Notes from Nan: And to think it happened at Elmer’s!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Man!

You just never know who you’re gonna see at Elmer’s. Last week at this time we had Sonya Kitchell, Erin McKeown and Erica Wheeler all sitting around at breakfast with their guitars and gorgeous voices, jamming together on a theme of pancakes. And just now I walked in to talk to Jim and there was a group of Tibetan monks having coffee. I’m thinking that Tuesdays are the day to come in just to see what in the world is going on!

So, my nieces and their friends were up from North Carolina over the last few days and yesterday Micki sees a thermometer says in her little southern accent, “It’s really only 60 degrees? Really? That’s so weird . . .”

Yes, and sixty degrees is the good news from where it’s been. My friends, they have record-breaking heat in New Orleans! Do you know how hard you would have to get before you can get hotter than it’s EVER been in NEW ORLEANS??? Hell itself has never been that hot! And what do we get? Sixty degrees on July 13th. It kind of makes me sad.

This weekend is The Green River Festival. Every other year that I have worked on it it’s been up in the 100s of degrees out there—like, 200 or more! This year I’m hoping we’ll be able to work up a sweat. Oh, you’re probably quite fine with sixty or seventy degrees for Green River Festival. It may be a good thing, as due to the large crowds expected this year, we’ve been forced to ask people not to bring tents. It has been advertised, by the way as “nearly sold out”, which is true, but I know that there are still some tickets left if you’re interested. (We even still have some at Elmer’s—both for the whole weekend ($45) and for the Friday night Anniversary of Signature Sounds artists ($25.) The whole line-up is at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

Saturday morning at Elmer’s, we will have outside a short little performance by Double Edge Theater, while you wait for your table. They are getting ready for their summer performance of “The Arabian Nights” (www.DoubleEdgeTheatre.com) and will be handing out fliers and doing God Knows What outside of Elmer’s that morning. (You know how it is with Double Edge, you never know what to expect, which is what makes it so worth seeing!) I believe they should be here around 10 or 11, so come for breakfast, come for the Farmer’s Market down the street, and see what Double Edge is up to!

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Water Cycle Episode on HFVS (11/20/07)

Milkshake T-shirt Design HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW
Water Cycle Episode

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA
Tuesday evening @ 7pm

11/20/07 Playlist

listen now | subscribe to podcast | archived shows | contests

THE WATER CYCLE

This week’s Water Cycle Episode goes out to the Yellow’s (2nd & 3rd graders) at Hilltown Cooperative Community Public School who are studying the water cycle.

We’ve found a few web sites exploring the water cycle that kids and educators might enjoy. Click here to share a water cycle web site/resource you’ve discovered:

  • Thirstin’s Water Cycle – Put out by the EPA; reviews rain, water storage, vapor and clouds through flash video for kids.
  • Droplet – NASA has put together a water cycle game for kids.
  • The Illinois EPA shows how to make a water cycle wheel for kids.
  • Enchanted Learning posted a water cycle diagram that can be used for curriculum planning.
  • The Water Education Foundation has a Water Kids page.
  • ProTeacher! offers water lesson plans that, including the topics of evaporation, water, water cycle and weather.
  • For teachers and homeschoolers, National Geographic has a water lesson plan.

And here’s a cute video for the younger crowd titled, The Cat Who Hated Rain, originally aired on Sesame Street, and animated by Bruce Cayard. A cat wishes the rain away and the consequenses of no rain are illustrated. Appropriate for all ages.

CONGRATULATIONS TO

on winning a CD & T-shirt of Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang!

THIS WEEK’S CONTEST

For this week’s contest we’re offering music and the t-shirt from Milkshake. Their t-shirt won a Parent’s Pick from the HFVS T-Shirt Review.

“WGosh!� We are so honored to be one of the winners.� Always a nice thing.� Glad you liked Moo.� Right now she’s pouting in the studio.� Seems Mikel told a bad cow joke (“What do you call a dancing cow?� A milk shake!”)� She wasn’t amused.� So I’m off to make her a sprout sandwich and pour her a tall glass of veggie juice.” - Lisa from Milkshake.

For your chance to win simply post us a comment below. We’ll draw a winner from everyone who leaves a comment. IT’S THAT SIMPLE!  Deadline is 11/27/07 @ 7pm (EST).

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