Look at the Weather by Britta Teckentrup


9781771472869_FC.jpgLook at the Weather
, originally published with the title Alle Wetter by German author illustrator Britta Teckentrup, comes to North America via Owlkids in an adapted translation by my friend and VCFA colleague Shelley Tanaka.

It’s a beautiful book, informative and clear, always keeping the young reader in mind, and the illustrations are exquisite. Using a simple direct address, the text speaks to the reader about weather in all its aspects—sun, rain, ice and snow. The final section is dedicated to extreme weather, and also addresses climate change.

Some spreads feature very little text, others lay out the physics of light or the placement of the constellations so that the reach of the book ranges from intimate to sweeping. The clarity of the writing allows the large, expansive illustrations to lead the eye. Details of place, as well as the palette employed, suggest a setting that can be interpreted as European and possibly North American.

Backmatter includes a glossary and author’s note. At 152 pages, this is a hefty book, inviting visual contemplation rather than a sequential read. But it’s also satisfying in the way that art can leave you feeling saturated–its an effect created by color and line and the suggested movement of wind and water, all held together with words that both inform readers and invite them back for more.

I don’t know of a comparable book with a wider lens, dealing with weather in a more global context, but what a gift that would be!