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by Rochelle Baltzer

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cindy K. Schofield
This is one in the "Natural Disasters" series of six books that answer many of the questions children have about these awesome natural events. Two page spreads of descriptive text and stunning photos make the book engaging and informative. Topics include a definition of wildfires, a description of the conditions that enable them, and techniques for fighting the fires, recovering from them and preventing them. A case study is presented that describes the Peshtigo Fire of 1871 that occurred in Wisconsin. It was the worst wildfire in United States history, destroying whole towns and killing 1,200 people, but is overshadowed by the fact that it occurred on the same day as the Great Chicago Fire. Throughout the book there are text boxes of "breaking news" with additional facts related to the main text. A final "news flash" page has more facts about how fires are caused, the extent of their damage and how animals react to them. The clear, colorful photographs are well described with informational captions. In general this is a good "starter" nonfiction book that includes Table of Contents, Glossary of "important words," and an Index. There are some editorial issues that cause distractions, primarily around the highlighting of certain words. Seven words were chosen to include in the glossary. All but one have pronunciation keys, but a reader may find the nonstandard phonetics as challenging to read as the word being described. Additionally, the words in the glossary are inconsistently highlighted throughout the text, sometimes printed in bold red and in other instances not. Readers are directed to the publisher's website for more information about wildfires. A search for the book by title or ISBN: reveals links to FEMA, the Smokey the Bear site and the USDA Forest Service kids page. Overall the book is a nice introduction to an engaging topic that is often in the news. Reviewer: Cindy K. Schofield

Product Details

ABDO Publishing Company
Publication date:
Natural Disasters Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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