Gail Gibbons frequently buys milk at a dairy farm near Corinth, Vermont, where she lives with her husband and two children. She is the author and illustrator of many award-winning books for children, including Trucks, The Post Office Book, and New Road. The Milk Makers is her first book for Atheneum.
Gr 2-4 Gibbons again makes a complex subject understandable to young children. Starting with the change of seasons, she discusses the weather typical of each season and how it develops, and then shows how the weather forecasters arrive at their short and long-range forecasts and make them available. She offers enough scientific vocabulary to delight the beginning scientists, e.g., anemometer and cumulonimbus clouds, while she relates the weather conditions to situations children will recognize, from thunderstorms to snow. Page design is cluttered, and the text appears in a smaller, less bold and hence less readable typeface than any of Gibbons' other recent books, which may put off less able readers. Informative printed explanations in many areas of the illustrations also are not easy to read. The illustrations, which include people of many races and both sexes, are naturalistic but simplified. Many books on weather are available for this age, but none relate it to the seasons as well as explain the system of weather stations and the jobs involved, and none have Gibbons' colorful, appealing illustrations. Sylvia S. Marantz, Wellington School, Columbus, Ohio
What a complicated subject to explain to readers! Yet Gibbons has accomplished much here. This is a look at all four seasons, as observed, recorded and predicted by experts at a weather station. Broadcast terms for weather conditions are interspersed with the names of sophisticated equipment, which monitors elements that influence weather. Weather-station personnel go about their busy days, while beach, farm and snow scenes show just how changes in conditions affect everyone. Anyone used to Gibbons's flat, cheerful colors will see that the skies in this book have many moodsdark and ominous, light and hazydepending on the weather, of course. There is more information here than can be digested in one reading, which is why adults sharing this book with children may walk away enlightened, too. Ages 5-8. (March)