I was doing some Twitter browsing the other day, and found this book, that book, and other (screen shot screen shot screen shot). As the TBR list grew, I saw a happy little tornado and the author/illustrator promoting it (or maybe it was a fan, by that time I had really gotten lost in a sea of books and do not remember). That book was named, I Am a Tornado. Why was Drew Beckmeyer’s book eye catching? Again, a happy (or so it looked like to me) tornado. What would make a tornado happy?
Well, actually our tornado is not happy. In fact, they are terribly angry, grumpy, destructive, and downright not nice. They just want to toss things (someone was in the house? It does not care). But when the tornado (in all its blustering glory) picks up a cow, who politely asks to be put down, this starts a conversation about things. One of which is why the tornado is angry.
In the meantime, several other pieces are happening. We learn about feelings (why angry) but also about tornados. This second part has simple, introductory information about the shape and why tornadoes happen. Also, we see how talking about those feelings can be helpful. Another part is an early read story. The simple text is great for a starter in the reading world, or with a little help. Then there are the illustrations.
These are very simple but have fun details. They are colorful without being pushy (like the tornado). They show the story and support the text (such as when those already caught in the tornado are ouching and saying Help as they are tossed along.) They are not for everyone but fit the tone of the story well. They have a young look to them, allowing the five to eight crowd to have access to them. The older reader might be put off by the picture book format, and that simpler text, but could work as a read aloud.
Though this book is out, I read via an online reading copy, and I am not sure of the look of the final product.